Stuck on You: Adhesion

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
Learners explore water adhesion and learn about why water molecules are more strongly attracted to some substances than others. In an investigation titled "Fabric Frenzy," learners use a magnifying glass to examine different fabrics and hypothesize whether each kind would be good for soaking up water. Learners then weigh the dry fabrics, predict how water will affect the weight of each sample, wet the samples, and weigh them again to see how much water they in fact absorb. Learners also examine other liquids and compare their adhesion to water adhesion.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 small and 2 large clear glass jars
  • gallon of water
  • pencil
  • sticker
  • 10-inch #22 gauge bare wire
  • different size nails
  • magazine or newspaper clipping
  • student journals
  • pens or pencils
  • fabric samples (all the same size)—cotton, nylon, linen, wool etc.
  • Magnifying lenses
  • 1/2 liter bottle with tap water
  • tongs
  • 1 liter jar
  • balance
  • sponges
  • student journals and writing tools


  • Earth and Space Science
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, State of New Jersey, 2006

Funding Source:

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001