Aluminum Boats

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Test the buoyancy of an aluminum foil boat and an aluminum foil ball. Why does the same material in different shapes sink or float? This activity explores the fact that the amount of water pushed aside by an object equals the force of water pushing upward on the object. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Small bucket or large bowl
  • Water
  • 20 coins of the same weight (e.g. pennies, 2p pieces, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ruler


  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density

Informal Categories

  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience