by Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator
- One piece of aluminum foil per young scientist/participant (roughly the size of a standard piece of paper) Make sure all participants have the same size piece of foil.
- Sink/tub/plastic bin with about 6 inches of water in it
- Weights to put in your boat (pennis work great for this!)
- Optional: other building materials
- Cardboard, tape, straws, popsicle sticks, etc
- Fill up your water station (sink/tub/plastic bin)
- Prep materials for each scientist participant--make sure they all have the same materials to use for their project
- Collect boat weights (ex. pennies)
- Explain to your young scientist(s) that today you will be making boats!
- Challenge them to make a boat that they think will hold the most weight and not sink using the materials provided
- Test your boats by putting them in the water and gradually adding weight!
- Feel free to re-design and test again.
- We are seeing two forces at work in this science experiment: gravity and buoyancy!
- Gravity: gravity is trying to pull your boat and pennies downward towards the center of the earth
- Buoyancy: buoyancy is pushing the boat towards the surface of the water!
- Your boat will float if the force of buoyancy is greater than the force of gravity.