Medicine Hat News

Earth Day is just around the corner

- Patty Rooks Science Smarts

Do not forget, Earth Day 2021 is April 22. This day is marked as the largest civic event in the world. Many of us are hopeful that we can raise awareness about environmen­tal issues this day; including climate change and even global warming.

We only have one Earth, so hopefully my article this week will inspire you to help out the Earth, if not for us or our children but our great, great, great grandchild­ren. Let’s get started!

Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.

• Approximat­ely 10 sheets of

old newspaper

• Glass bowl

• Hot water

• Cornstarch

• Measuring spoons

• Aluminum foil

• Strainer

• Wooden spoon

• Scissors

• Sink

• Sharp pencil

• Decoration­s for your paper, like constructi­on paper scraps, dried flowers, confetti, or glitter

• Heavy book

• Blender

• Wire rack

• Empty baking sheet


• You are going to create a mold for your finished paper using the aluminum foil. Place several sheets of aluminum foil on top of one another and then use your imaginatio­n – make a heart, octagon, flower. If you have enough time, make several molds. Please make sure you use enough aluminum foil so it is sturdy and can hold the “slurry” you are going to make.

• Using the tip of a very sharp pencil, poke holes in the bottom of the shape about one centimetre apart.

• Place the wire rack on the empty baking sheet. Rest the aluminum mold(s) on the wire rack. If you have multiple molds, please space them apart so you can have enough room for them to drain and dry out.

• Rip five sheets of newspaper into smaller pieces.

• Place the pieces into the bowl.

• Cover the paper with hot water. Stir it up a little bit to ensure all of the pieces of paper are wet and covered with water.

• Pour this mixture into a blender. Blend this mixture until it looks like oatmeal. You have to use your observatio­n skills here. If it is too wet, you may have to add more ripped up newspaper. If it is too dry, add a tiny bit more water until it will mix well.

• Sprinkle two tablespoon­s (30 mL) of cornstarch over the mixture. Blend well.

• Place the strainer in the sink.

• Carefully pour your newspaper pulp into the strainer. gently push with your fingers in order to strain out most of the water. You do not want it to be soupy, it should hold together somewhat when you squeeze it lightly in your hand.

• Pour your mixture into your aluminum foil mold.

• Using your hands, smooth out your paper so it is as flat as possible in the mold.

• At this point, you could decorate your paper by adding some dried flowers, sparkles or confetti.

• Cover your mold with a sheet of fresh aluminum foil.

• Place a heavy book on the top so it can push down and make a nice flat sheet of paper for you to write on.

• Remove the book and allow your paper to dry for several hours.


I hope that by doing this experiment you learned just how easy it is to recycle paper. The method you used is very similar to how large factories do it. They also make “pulp” in order to manufactur­e useable paper once again. This is why it is so important for us to recycle paper whenever we can. Instead of using up resources on Earth, we can reuse what we have over and over again.

Do not forget the deadline for the Kiwanis Regional

Science Fair (virtual) is fast approachin­g. Elementary students need to have their projects submitted by April 23. Visit the Praxis website for more informatio­n and the links to register.

Patty Rooks, Senior Scientific Consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community”. Contact Praxis at,, Tweet or follow us @ PraxisMedH­at, or friend us on Facebook. Address: #12 826 11 Street S. E., Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403.527.5365, email: praxis@

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