In accordance with Ontario’s vaccine certificate policy, all visitors aged 12 and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated (paper or digital copy) along with valid ID to visit the Ontario Science Centre. All visitors, including Members, are required to book a timed ticket in advance. Thank you for your cooperation.
Please note: KidSpark is now open, but capacity is very limited. Weekday entry is on a first-come, first-served basis. On weekends and school holidays, we issue KidSpark entry tickets for 45-minute access to this space. Please visit Level 4 during your weekend visit for KidSpark tickets.More Info
*Safety first! Always ask a grownup for help when handling a hot iron.
There are lots of fun things you can do with your leaves after they have cooled! Keep your wax paper sheet intact and hang it in the window to create a colourful light catcher. Or, carefully cut each leaf out—be sure to leave a border so that the wax paper stays sealed on the leaf. Use these leaves as bookmarks or hang them for decoration.
Want to see what your leaf looks like under the wax? Cut out a leaf and peel off the paper to reveal a colourful, flexible waxed leaf.
Leaves absorb water from the trees they grow on through their stems. Once a leaf is no longer attached to a tree, it loses moisture, eventually becoming dry and brittle. When you melted wax onto your leaves, you created a protective hydrocarbon layer that will allow the leaves to retain their moisture, keeping them flexible and bright for longer.
Why do leaves change colours?
For most of the summer, leaves produce three types of compounds that play a part in photosynthesis. Each compound is responsible for a different pigment: chlorophylls are green, carotenoids are orange and yellow, and flavonoids are yellow.
During the spring and summer, the increase in sunlight leads to larger quantities of chlorophyll, resulting in green leaves. In the fall, as the sunlight decreases and the tree produces less chlorophyll, the colours from the other two compounds become more visible.
Bright red, purple and magenta-coloured leaves are the result of a different set of chemicals called anthocyanins, which only form under certain conditions in the fall. For anthocyanins to form, the leaves must contain a high concentration of sugar and be exposed to lots of sunlight. The combination of cool evenings with sunny days produces the brightest reds.
Did you know?
Some fruits, like apples and oranges, begin to rot as they lose moisture. Fruit growers sometimes add a thin coating of food-grade wax to preserve these fruits for longer.