Floating Head Cup

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In this activity, learners watch a figure "magically" float up through the air. Learners use 2 straws, a cup, rubber band, pipe cleaner, and piece of buoyant material to make a simple model of novel Chinese art pieces, which are typically made out of ceramics. Use this activity to demonstrate the relationship between density and buoyancy. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 straws, 1 wider than the other
  • 1 cup
  • 1 rubber band
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • something to use as a float (i.e. piece of styrofoam)
  • decorations for head
  • scissors
  • glue
  • water


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, 2011

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