The primary reason for this color is the chemical reaction known as the oxidation of the copper in pencils. Copper is a metal that is oxidized by sunlight. When the sunshine on a pencil burns the oxygen in it, it causes it to become more and more yellow.
“When it gets close to the end it becomes a bright, crisp yellow” said David S. Stauffer, assistant principal of the school’s Department of Computer & Information Science. “It’s just a very, very rare occurrence in nature, and we’re not sure for sure why it’s done, but it’s something people notice. It’s actually a very nice appearance, and it doesn’t take away from the look of a hand-made hand-painted pen.”
To make the pencil, a thin layer of a thin paint that has been diluted and made to resemble yellow paint is applied to a blank on the desk that is a different shade of yellow than the top surface color on the pen. By following the same process with a hand-drawn pencil, the paint becomes lighter, and then a layer of the paint takes over where the paint used to be.
The pencil was first used in the school’s science class in 1999 in the sixth-grade class. While the method wasn’t used often, by 2002, the school began using the pencil. Although one student has used a pencil like this since then, the majority of students in that class have since moved on to using pencils from Pencils and Pencils+.
The use of pencils will soon be part of the curriculum at this and other schools in the area, says Stauffer. Pencils and Pencils+ are the two products that students learn to use throughout the curriculum.
“These pencils will help students become better artists, and they’re very much needed in the classroom. There can’t be enough artists on the planet, and we really need more artists. Kids are always looking for another outlet. The process of using these pencils is simple, but it pays off tremendously,” he said.
What do you think of pencils and pencils+? Is this a way to draw a line on the wall or is it for fun to play with? Let me know in the comment section below.
A “real-time, highly interactive, social science experiment” will take place in a small town this month.
Residents of Westmoreland are invited to get on Facebook and show support and be part of