Prepare for a Dock Shop Field Trip

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In this activity, learners explore what makes a boat float and sink. They examine and test various objects to determine why objects float or sink. This experience can prepare learners for a science field trip to ScienceWorks (exhibit) at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, but a field trip is not necessary. This activity is featured on pp.24-25 (part of a lesson that begins on page 23) of the "ScienceWorks" K-2 unit of study.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A boat book, such as "Boats" by Christian Broutin
  • Science Journals (page 52)
  • Two-liter bottle with top cut off
  • Various objects
  • Water
  • Pencils
  • Paper towels
  • Cups
  • Aluminum foil squares (10 x 10 cm)
  • Small clay balls


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Literature
  • Model Building
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, 2007