Warblettes – Teaching Kids About Polymers and Absorbtion

Warblettes are co-polymers that can absorb up to 200 times their volume in water. The warblettes water marbles are perfect for science fair experiments, in the classroom, or just as a fun activity for your family. These water marbles are non-toxic and come in clear, red, blue, green, and yellow. Heath Scientific offers a warblettes lab activity book that includes 13 activities that focus on different subjects like math, graphing, and cellular biology, perfect for science fair projects and classroom experiments. The procedures for running each experiment are explained and the labs can be modified to meet your specific needs.

Enough about the details lets take a look at the Warblettes in action!! As mentioned they are able to absorb 200 times their volume in water. Our experiment compares the warblette, aluminum foil from a chewing gum package, and a piece of paper towel. This will show the differing amounts of absorption between the water marble and these other household items.


First the paper towell, foil, and the warblette were placed in water bottle caps, then each cap was filled with water. (Note that we are using bottle caps as they are easily accessible in the home. If you wish to measure liquid absorbtion in milliliters, a beaker or test tube will need to be used). The items were left alone for 8 hours allowing them to absorb as much water as possible.


The picture below shows all of the items after 8 hours of absorption time. As you can see the aluminum foil absorbed no water, which was expected as metal is a virtually non-absorbent material. The paper towel absorbed a little more than half of the water in the cap. Paper towels are designed to clean up spills so it makes sense that this would be the case. Finally the warblette absorbed all of the water available in the cap, we even filled it a second time and it absorbed this too! The warblettes actually lock the water away so that they are not wet to the touch like the paper towel is.


Here is a picture of the warblette before the introduction of any water, as you can see it is very small in comparison to a dime.


This is the warblette at the end of the experiment; note the drastic size change after the absorption of water.


Warblettes have superior absorbent properties when compared with the aluminum foil and paper towel. This is an example of an easy and fun experiment that can be done with simple household items. The lab activity book offers more challenging experiments that are better suited for science fairs and classroom experiments. To find more experiments like these visit Heath Scientific, a family owned and operated company, which has been providing teachers, parents and students with educational supplies for more than 20 years. They offer warblettes and many other science supplies, science fair kits, and other fascinating products.

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