Led by Dr. Gretchen Anderson, a class of about twenty at-risk students used their measuring and observational skills to determine just how much water a diaper can absorb. The answer is a lot more than you would think! But if there is salt in the water (normal saline concentrations) then the diapers are barely better than paper towels. Anderson helped students collect data and come to conclusions about the role of sodium ions and water in polyacrylate gels.
Special thanks to the staff and students at Starbase, a federal-sponsored program that promotes and offers education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - the STEM subjects. Starbase provides 25 hours of curriculum over 5 weeks, with various schools rotating in and out of Starbase to spark interest in STEM education and careers.