This morning as I was braiding my five-year-old daughter’s hair she was playing with one of seemingly ten thousand hair ties that we have in our house. It was then than she asked me what they’re made of. I told her they were made of rubber. Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I had to then ask her, “do you know that rubber comes from trees kind of like maple syrup comes from trees?” She asked how I knew that. I told her I learned it in school when I was about her age.
That whole conversation with my daughter lasted about thirty seconds. It had the effect of jogging my memory of watching a filmstrip about rubber nearly forty years ago in my first grade teacher’s (Mrs. Anderson) classroom. The filmstrip projector is a piece of educational technology that today’s students will never experience. They’ll never get to be excited to get picked to be the person who turns the filmstrip when the record beeps. And I know that some of you reading this have no idea what I’m talking about. Others of you may feel a twinge of nostalgia thinking about your own filmstrip experiences. Either way, if you find yourself trying to explain what a filmstrip was, here’s a little video demonstration of how they worked.
If you have a child in your life who is also curious about where rubber comes from, Maddie Moate has a video for you. In Where Does Rubber Come From? Maddie visits a forest in Thailand to learn how rubber trees are tapped and how the sap is used to make products like rubber boots.