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Activity Number 5 - The Rubber Band Test


To demonstrate the effect air pollution can have on rubber.


  • 4 small rubber bands
  • 1 wire clothes hanger
  • Magnifying glass


  1. Bend the hanger so that when you stretch the rubber bands over the hanger, they are tight.
  2. Hang the hanger outdoors in a shady place so it's out of the sun and leave it there for two weeks.
  3. After the two weeks, look at the rubber bands. Do they look the way they did before, or are they cracked? Check with the magnifying glass too!
  4. Touch the rubber bands. Do they feel the way they did before, or are they hard? If they look and feel the way they did before, then the air is quite clean. If they look cracked and feel hard, then the air is polluted. You may want to stretch one of the rubber bands from outside and an identical new band that was not outside to see how far each can be stretched before it breaks.
  5. Leave the rubber bands out for a few more weeks. Observe any further changes in the rubber bands.

Discussion Points:

Discuss causes and effects of air pollution before the experiment.
Discuss the observations and inferences from the results of the observations.

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