gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Taking the Tinfoil Boat Challenge

on November 22, 2013

Students in third grade have been studying buoyancy in the past month in science.   This interesting topic began when they were creating their Viking ships they launched in the stream at the park last month.  I had the students write down five important facts about what makes something float using the many activities and demonstrations in the lab.  Students were given tinfoil, contact paper, duct tape, and straws.  We tried to see how many pennies could fit in the boat before sinking.   Some groups made boats that held over 80 pennies !   Students were eager to try some new strategies after making some mistakes the first round.   Third graders can’t wait to try improving the design after Thanksgiving Break.

some student ideas for floating:
high walls
wide and long base (increase surface area)
air pockets (decrease density)
strengthen the floors and the walls

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