gator science

active adventures in lower school science

3rd grade engineers complete Tinfoil Boat Challenge

on December 10, 2012

Today 3rd grade students completed the final day of the Tinfoil Boat Challenge.  Students in the class wanted to give a second try to the challenge to improve their original scores.  Students were paired up and given the same amount of materials that included tinfoil, a piece of 5X5 manilla folder, 2 straws, and duct tape.  Each group tried to fit as many pennies as possible on the boat before it sunk in the tub of water.

The winning group today was able to fit 46 pennies on their boat.

we took advantage of a number of different scientific principles.

Successful boats had:

a large surface area

high walls

lots of air pockets

sturdy base and walls

The project emphasized the cyclic nature of the scientific process.  Mistakes were opportunities for learning, as all the students were able to improve their designs after a second try making the boat.

One of the boys in class today summed up what he learned a second time doing the project:

I improved much better this time since I slowed down and thought about what I did.  I also had a better idea what to do the 2nd time around, which improved the design”

below are some pictures of the project

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One response to “3rd grade engineers complete Tinfoil Boat Challenge

  1. Cheryl Joloza says:

    I love the student reflection.

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