Thursday, May 3, 2018

Glue vs. tape - A TED-Ed Science Lesson

The back windshield in my truck is currently being held in place by some clear packaging tape. There's a big crack in it and my local glass shop can't fix it until Tuesday. Tape was my "fix" because super glue would not only make a mess, but that mess could end up dripping onto the paint where it would never come off. I'm telling you all this as a means to introduce a new TED-Ed lesson titled Which Is Stronger: Tape or Glue?

In Which Is Stronger: Tape or Glue? viewers learn how glue stays in liquid form while in a bottle or tube, what creates the bond that glue makes between two surfaces, what makes some glues stronger than others, and when tape is a better choice than using glue (see story about my windshield).

Applications for Education
As soon as I saw the title of this TED-Ed lesson I thought that it could be the basis for some classroom experiments. Before showing the video I would ask students to write hypotheses on whether tape or glue would be the better choice for bonding various objects. Then they could test their hypotheses using non-toxic glues and tapes. Another approach would be to simply ask students why water weakens the bond of objects that are taped together.