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Float My Boat


Source Institutions

    WGBH

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Float My Boat

In this activity, learners use tinfoil to build and test their own boats - which designs will float, and which will sink? Learners must adjust many variables in their boat design to maximize stability and flotation, in order for the boat to support a heavy load of pennies. This activity is great used with lessons on engineering or design.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Model

Language:
English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)


  • 6-inch squares of tinfoil (or aluminum foil)
  • Pennies
  • Ruler
  • Container half filled with water

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Model Building
  • Transportation

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • WGBH

Source Collection:

  • FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2006

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0452485
  • Public television viewers
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
  • Arby's
  • Greendog

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