Using potatoes to test lotions

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Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby pka » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:19 am

I am in 4h grade, my project is to test which body lotion is best by putting different ones on potatoes, wrap in saran wrap and weighing each every day. I was told someone won a prize with this idea but it is not working. I am on day 3 and the potatoes all weigh the same as day 1. Did I do something wrong or should i keep going until day 5? sarah
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Project Question: Which type of body lotion works best
Project Due Date: November 18, 2010
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby nithintumma » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:21 am

Hello,

This sounds like a very interesting project, but I'm not sure I understand what the change in the weight of the potatoes signals. Does a larger weight point to a better lotion?
However, if you were told that this project worked I would recommend continuing your experiment until day 5, possibly longer. Maybe you should try repeating the project with more lotion on each potato. Also, does your experiment include a potato without lotion to compare weights to?
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby pka » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:38 am

It is the more lotion sinks into the potato the heavier the potato will get. Then the heaviest potato has the lotion that absorbed the best. I have 1 potato with no lotion and 4 potatoes with different lotions. I will try putting some more lotion on them. Thank you. Sarah
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:04 am
Occupation: student 4th grade
Project Question: Which type of body lotion works best
Project Due Date: November 18, 2010
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby sciencediplomat » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:33 pm

Hi sarah!
You should continue to put lotion until the five days are over.Don't worry if the results you guessed aren't right.That's normal!Science projects are a learning process.
Also,don't change how much lotion you are putting on the potatoes.It has to be the same amounts as you have been putting.This will change the experiment.If you start putting more lotion because you don't think the potatoes are gaining any weight then it will throw the experiment off balance!

Just remember your hypothesis and someone else's experiment don't have to match your results.
Good luck and if you have any more questions post! :D
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby phonghuynh » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:48 pm

Hi,

Don't be afraid just keep the experiment going :)

Something I would like to add is for you to

1) Have some controls. Do you have some potatoes where
you did not add any lotion?

2) I would suggest doing a set of potatoes, more than 1 potato for each lotion and
for your negative control (no lotion). Because potatoes are
all various sizes, if you have have a 2-4 you it is even more sophisticated.
Then you can average the set of potatoes. Having more potatoes will allow you
to make all the different sets of potatoes "more equal" or similar to each other.
Remember to choose those similar in size too.

Keep up the good work!!
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby pka » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:00 pm

Thank you. I kept weighing them for 10 days and finally got results. I also got an A on my project.
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:04 am
Occupation: student 4th grade
Project Question: Which type of body lotion works best
Project Due Date: November 18, 2010
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby nithintumma » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:47 pm

Congratulation!
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby suzy522 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:39 pm

my daughter is in fourth grade and is also doing a project about which lotion works best by using the potatoes, was just wondering if anyone could help we cant seem to find any research on this. the project is working well and she is all most done but we need research can anyne tell us where to look thank you.
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby heatherL » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:30 am

Hi suzy522,

I'm not sure that you will find research specifically related to lotion and potatoes, but you can find research related to cosmetic chemistry.

The background information in this Science Buddies project can help you get started: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p022.shtml

I also recommend doing an internet search (including Google Scholar) for "lotion research" and related terms. Here is the first hit I found when searching "lotion research":
http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Formulat ... re-lotions

I hope this helps. Please post again if you have more questions.

Heather
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby tin » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:29 am

hello! my 4th grade son is interested in this. i am lost on how to guide/help him. can anybody share how he can do this?
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Re: Using potatoes to test lotions

Postby heatherL » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:04 pm

Hello tin,

Did you read all of the previous posts in this thread? The student who did this project put different lotions on potatoes (and hopefully had control potatoes with no lotion), wrapped them in saran wrap, and weighed them daily. After about 10 days, the student saw a difference in the weight of the potatoes, which could be interpreted in terms of how much lotion was absorbed by the potato.

Please read through the previous posts, including the links provided, and post again with specific questions so we can help you and your son with this project.

Best,
Heather
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