Here in Maine, we’ve had more rainy days than sunny days lately. This means that we have worn our rain boots a lot. Yesterday, when I was trying to convince my daughters to wear their rain boots instead of sneakers, my four year old daughter asked me ‘what is rubber? To which I replied that it is a waterproof material used in boots to keep our feet dry. This, of course, prompted her to ask where it came from. I explained to him that it comes from trees a bit like maple syrup comes from trees. And now she wants us to grow a rubber tree. This sparked another round of questions about why we can’t grow rubber trees in Maine.
If you have a kid 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? Madddie visits a forest in Thailand to learn how rubber trees are harvested and how the sap is used to make products like rubber boots.
On a related note, here is a short TED-Ed lesson on how the rubber glove was invented.