With this experiment you get to build fun boats and learn a good lesson about making them, too! We've tried to make it as easy as possible. So...
...don't sweat it.
Time - Give yourself about three or four days to do this one.
1. Aluminum foil
2. Ruler or scissors
3. Tub, sink or pan of water
5. Several (20-50) pennies
7. Cardboard for display (order here from Amazon)
10. Computer (optional)
It's always important to ask questions. In science it's even more important. So...
...let's ask some questions about boats.
Here are some important questions to get you started. These aren't the most important question, though. We'll ask that one later.
See if you can add to this list for this boat experiment.
Where do we see boats? What types of boats are there? Do you think boats weigh a lot? Why do you think boats float?
Try to answer these as best you can.
We ask the most important question...
What shape boat floats the best?
This is a good question because we can try it out in a sink or pan of water to see what happens. But don't try it yet. We need to answer our important question first!
Let's do that now.
What do you think will happen?
Write it down on a piece of paper. Don't change it until you see what the fun boats you've made do first.
Now it's time to get your stuff from the list above. Let's move to the next step.
Now comes the fun part...
...make those fun boats! You make want to make some square, some round and even some star-shaped! It all depends on your ability.
Fold the foil over and tape where needed to make the shape you desire, like this...
Don't forget to take lots of pictures of this part. Pictures show you did your own work.
Now float your fun boats!
This is where the money comes in. Gently place pennies one at a time into each boat. Be careful not to upset the boat and send it sinking to the bottom!
Carefully count the number of pennies you put in each boat. Write down the results on a piece of paper so that you can use what you've learned later.
...let's make the graph!
At the bottom of the graph, draw pictures of the different shapes you used to make your fun boats. Try to be as accurate as possible! On the left side write numbers 1 through 10 each number standing for that many pennies. You graph should look like this...
It's time to tell what you've noticed. Write a report about what you saw.
You should include...
1. What you guessed about the boats.
2. What you did with the boats.
3. Which boat held the most.
4. If your guess was correct about the boats.
Be careful to obey all the school rules for your science fair report. Three or four sentences will do if you weren't given how long it should be.
Now you get to make the display!
Carefully put three pieces of cardboard together so it looks like this...
You can also buy displays at many retail stores as well. However you do it, make sure you follow science fair rules!
Now, on a piece of paper neatly write your important question and your guess. If you would like, type it. You might get style points!
Now, just like you did your important question, write (or type) your supply list on a separate piece of paper.
Paste your guess, supply list and report onto your display board along with any pictures you might have taken. Make sure you label each so the judges know what is what. Making sure everything looks good is important!
If you aren't sure how to lay out your display
click here for great display ideas!
Try playing with some of the display ideas we have. You won't want to use the exact ones we use. Make them fun! Be creative!
And don't forget to name your project at the top of the display board. You may want to use your important question as the title. You may want to purchase stencils to make cutouts of letters. Or you may purchase already made letters at many retail stores.
Whatever you do, have fun!