GUEST BLOGGER: MEGHAN McCARTHY
Pop: The Invention of Bubble Gum tells the story of a young man named Walter Diemer. He was an accountant working for the Fleer Company in the 1920s. The factory was attempting to invent a gum that was stretchy enough to blow bubbles, but to no avail. Diemer began experimenting with the gum in his off hours. After much failure he was able to do what others weren’t: invent bubble gum!
This is a story of creativity and perseverance, two qualities that I love and are invaluable to a would-be inventor. You can’t give up when things don’t work out. Persistence is key! The same goes for being an author. Without those two qualities, it’s unlikely a writer will get published. As the famous Thomas Edison said, “genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
Communication is also important. Inventors have to submit paperwork to get their invention patented. Without being able to communicate and describe what the invention is and how it works, the invention will never get an approved patent. Without a patent, the invention can be stolen!
“Keep a Written Record of Your Invention – Record every step of the invention process in a notebook. Describe and diagram every aspect and every modification of the invention, including how you initially envisioned the idea for it.NOLO – Getting a patent on your own
What makes an effective ad?
Communication is also important once the invention goes to market. Advertising has to succinctly communicate what the product is and why YOU need to buy it. So, it’s also a good exercise to examine the gum packages and why they do and or don’t seem appealing. This is an ad from 2016 for Ice Breakers Gum.
Have a class discussion on what you like and don’t like about this ad.
The Gun Experiment
Want to know how large a gum bubble can get? Play close attention to her technique.
If you’re struggling to blow a bubble watch this:
After watching the videos you are ready for the experiment! Buy four different kinds of gum and divide into groups. Each group will measure (or attempt to measure) the size of the bubbles the group members blow for each brand of gum.
After adding up all of the measurements, answer the following questions:
- Describe what chewing each brand of gum was like. Was it sticky, juicy, gooey? Use the most descriptive words possible.
- How hard or easy was it to blow a bubble with each kind of gum?
- How did each piece of gum taste? Did you enjoy the taste or dislike it? Why?
- Which gum are you most likely to buy and why?
- Did the packaging influence which gum you liked best? Why or why not?
You may not be able to hold a bubble long enough to correctly measure the bubbles but this experiment is about having fun and learning so don’t stress it!
For more inspiration, watch this video for new and creative ways to describe the brands of gum (or any food!) better.
Lastly, here’s a video about how modern day gum is created.
Meghan McCarthy likes: sunny days, rainbows, metal objects, antique shops, junk yards, rust, indie rock, lawn ornaments, abandoned buildings, dark, tomato sauce, paint, photoshop, bread, furniture, retro stuff, colorful rugs, overgrown plants, and cheese.
Meghan does not like: cats that bite, white cars, pizza with pineapple or potato toppings, raw fish, fish odors, fake people, unmotivated people, people with fanny packs, people who slap their children, oversized drooling dogs, leaky ceilings, or undecorated apartments.
Find out more about her on her website: https://www.meghan-mccarthy.com