Are all crayons alike? Are they made with the same materials? These were some of the questions Clermont Elementary School students had to find out during a mobile lab that linked crayons with science and agriculture.Last week was the first time the mobile ag ed science lab has ever been to Clermont. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the lab was courtesy of the PTO.
Sue Shires, a lab instructor, told a third-grade class last Friday that they would be doing an experiment that has something to do with agriculture.
"You are scientists while you're out here," she said. "There is a science that goes into farming so the farmer can produce the best product he can."
The students used the scientific method to figure out if Crayola and Prang crayons colored the same. Prang Crayons are made with soybeans and Crayola are made with petroleum.
The students worked in pairs and after making an observation of the crayons, they formed a hypothesis (an educated guess).
Titled "The Colorful Bean," the students colored one side of an animated soybean using Crayola Crayons and the other using Prang. They were supposed to use the same pressure in coloring so they could make a good comparison.
After they answered a few questions on a sheet of paper, they rated the brightness of both crayons from one to three, the flakiness and the coverage.
The third graders determined that Prang had no flakes and was the better crayon. Only one student chose Crayola.
Shires told the students that soybeans are used in soy milk, shampoo, tofu, to make newspaper ink because it prints more and is sometimes found on salad bars. Soybeans are also used in paint, and biodiesel fuel.
"Soybeans are better for the environment," she told the students.
After showing the students how a crayon is made and pouring hot wax into candy molds, she gave them each a round crayon to take home.