To design and construct a boat that takes into account factors such as buoyancy, the properties of materials, and design constraints. In this lesson, students will design and construct a boat out of aluminum foil and a few other simple materials. Next, show students a "Cartesian Diver." To build one, you simply need an empty soda bottle (remove the label) and a dropper or pipette. Once students understand the scientific principle of buoyancy, they must consider some engineering principles that will be taken into account when designing their boats.
The final considerations are the properties of the materials and the design techniques that might be used. You can extend the ideas in this lesson by using the Science NetLinks lesson, Engineering Solutions, which has students explore the side effects of technology, and design, implement, and evaluate solutions related to the problem of waste disposal.
How Life Jackets Work: Buoyancy provides more information about buoyancy in the context of using life jackets. Science NetLinks is a project of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The boats will then be tested by floating them in a pool or sink of water, and then adding mass until they sink. To do this introduction, gather several objects that sink and several that float for each group of students. For upper-elementary students, these will be simple principles like overall dimensions and shape.


Give each team of boat builders a small piece of aluminum foil (a 10-inch square will be enough), two toothpicks, a craft stick, a straw, some glue, and some tape.
Make sure the students understand that they only get one piece of aluminum foil to build the boat.
How well did students' designs reflect what they learned about the scientific law (buoyancy), engineering principles, properties of materials, and construction techniques? Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. While students may not be able to articulate it, they will intuitively begin to understand the scientific laws required for the design of the boat, i.e. But, in order to build the boats, they must use and understand the scientific law of buoyancy. You could have students experiment with a piece of clay, molding it to determine shapes that will float the longest.
The analysis questions on the student page can also be used as part of the overall evaluation. In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois). Discuss the diagrams and make sure students understand that the weight of water displaced equals the weight of the wood. Students should start to formulate their own ideas of density, although specific terminology is too sophisticated for this grade level.


The rationale for getting only one piece of foil is to reinforce the idea that there are limitations to the materials they are using, and that not all attempts will be successful given the constraints for those materials.
Waves will wreak havoc on other boats.) Each team should slowly and carefully add masses to their boats until they sink. They will also explore the shapes of boats and construction techniques that may work for the boats.
The last mass added, the one that finally puts the boat under, should be removed, and the rest of the mass totaled. They should also begin to understand that the reason for this is the 'empty space' in the shape. The students should then describe the properties of the objects that sink and the properties of the objects that float. This draws more water inside the dropper and increases its mass (and therefore its density).



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