User login

Secret Messages

Source Institutions

    University of Southern Mississippi

Add to listGo to activity
Secret Messages

In this activity, learners use Teflon (PTFE) tape to write secret messages. Learners may be familiar with Teflon-coated pans, but they probably do not know that Teflon is also made into tape that is used by plumbers. Teflon tape is great for plumbing because it stretches a little and makes a great seal, and since it is slippery, it makes pipes easier to screw together. Learners take advantage of Teflon tape's stretchiness to write secret messages. Use this activity to discuss the various types of polymer structures.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • PTFE Thread Seal Tape (Teflon tape), any width (can be found in most hardware and plumbing supply stores)
  • ruler
  • ball point pen (these work the best; other pens will work too, but might be smeary)
  • paper
  • scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Polymer Science Learning Foundation, ©2003


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: