Test the Finger Wrinkle Hypothesis

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Learners create a tool to measure how well they grip a wet object when their fingers are smooth versus wrinkly. Are smooth or wrinkly fingers better at holding on to the object? Learners can also watch a video that explores what causes fingers to wrinkle after a long soak in the tub and suggests that wrinkly fingers might improve our ability to handle wet objects.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

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


Materials List (per student)

  • Smooth, plastic ruler with a hole at one end (without raised lines or numbers)
  • Large paperclip, straightened out
  • Large water bottle with screw cap, with a looped lid for paperclip attachment
  • Notebook or student data sheet
  • Bowl of water for soaking fingers


  • Engineering and Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Circulation
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career


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


  • Zych, Ariel


  • All rights reserved, Science Friday,