by: Donna Giachetti
In a February 2014 blog post we said goodbye to the last of our goldenrod paper supply, a beloved staple in many science teachers’ classrooms.
Truthfully, we can’t count how many times in these past months we’ve had to tell customers that our stock was gone—and unlikely to ever be replenished since the manufacturers had permanently ceased production.
Sure, it may not seem like such a big deal to the uninitiated. Stationery fashions come and go, after all.
But this was not just colored paper—it was G O L D E N R O D ! If anything can prove the old idiom that appearances are sometimes deceiving, this was the stuff.
Assuming you dampened a sheet with a bit of plain water… well, you’d be looking at some soggy golden-yellow paper. But try spraying it with a base solution such as washing soda or Windex® and stand back! Everywhere the liquid touched, the paper instantly turned bright red. (Blood red, in fact.) Immerse the paper in vinegar and it “magically” shifted back to its original color!
Customers lamented the loss, loudly and often. “How can it be gone?” they asked. “Don’t you even have a few sheets left?” They understood that our goldenrod paper was a guaranteed show-stopper—whether their audience was toddlers, teens or tenured educators.
Knowing this terrible shock had to be softened, we came up with our own recipe for Do-It-Yourself goldenrod paper, involving heaps of tumeric (a bright-yellow spice) and several hours of mess. It wasn’t the same as our goldenrod paper, but in a pinch it would do.
If you haven’t already figured it out, take another look at the first letters of the paragraphs above.
Let the rejoicing—and experimenting—begin.
For a refresher course in all the wonderful experiments you can do to captivate students of all ages with a simple sheet of goldenrod paper, we refer you to master teacher Ron Perkins’ blog of simple and advanced activities. We also offer free lesson ideas online. (Just scroll down to the tab marked “Lesson Ideas.”)
And don’t forget to stock up!
Finally, check out our new video below—consider it a little preview of some of the fun you can have with our wonderful goldenrod paper. Every time we watch it, we start humming Peaches & Herb’s classic, “Reunited (and It Feels So Good).”
PS: Is it our imagination, or does the color of that stamp on their album cover look a bit like goldenrod?
I’m excited that goldenrod paper is back. A few days ago I stumbled on a way to make it turn black and back again and I thought more people would like to know. If you are interested, see my blog post for pictures and details: