Auto Body students at the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center recently finished testing the paint stripping ability of these food items and other products as part of the course’s integrated science credit.
Under the direction of Science Instructor Kris Alsup, the Auto Body students set up experiments testing six items that urban legend holds will take paint off cars. The students applied bologna, raw egg, brake fluid, nail polish remover and pickles to freshly painted car doors and let it sit for six weeks. Paint remover was also applied to one of the doors.
Contrary to popular belief, pickles will not remove a car’s finish, the students found, and – while it appeared to at first – neither will bologna. The bologna did leave behind a greasy film making it seem the finish had been damaged but, Alsup says, a little buffing removed the lunch meat residue with no damage.
Dried egg, on the other hand, is very difficult to remove, the experiment found. If fact it was so difficult to remove the students scratched the car finish while trying.
Paint stripper and nail polish remover removed the paint but the far and away winner was brake fluid.
“The brake fluid almost immediately made the paint bubble,” Alsup said.
The Auto Body class is just one of the classes Alsup routinely visits.
“There really is a lot of science already built into the regular curriculum in the different programs,” Alsup says, adding that he attempts to incorporate fun experiments to engage students in the hard sciences.
After their car finish experiment, for instance, the Auto Body students examined the chemistry behind paint striping.
In their science lessons with Mr. Alsup, Culinary Arts students did some myth busting of their own recently. They looked at popular pasta myths such as whether or not cold water boils faster than hot. The class’ experiments found that cold water does not boil faster and neither will water with a pinch of salt. Heavily salted water does boil a little faster but not much, the instructor says.
Other recent science experiments saw Criminal Justice students burying broiler chickens in the campus courtyard as part of their entomology unit and the Auto Tech class recently finished a lesson on nitromethane and the physics of jet engines. During the lesson the Auto Tech students learned about different kinds of nitrous systems and why they work.