Saturday, October 26, 2013

Who Sank the Boat? in Science!

In science, we have been studying matter and specifically combining matter. Last week, the kids were instructed to build a boat with their choice of materials with the goal of staying afloat while holding 10 pennies. To begin the lesson, I retold the story of Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen where 5 animals attempt to go on a boat ride. First 4 animals fit in the boat just fine but when the little mouse hopped in, the boat sank! I asked the kids why they thought this happened and for the most part, they understood that the boat had had enough!

So...I gave them about 40 minutes to come up with a plan for their boat, agree on materials and construct their boat! Materials available....paperclips, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, foil, popsicle sticks, foam paper, regular paper, tape, and staples. It was so interesting watching their ideas come to fruition AND for most groups, changing their plan after discovering a better way.

 Making their boats!

The next day, the groups presented their boats and described how they combined the materials. They had to justify why they constructed their boat the way they did.

Here are some pics of the groups with their boats and their results!

First group!

It floated with 10 pennies!

2nd group...

Another success!

3rd group...

 Unfortunately this one didn't make it after the 8th penny was added. :(

Next group...

I love the suspense here...


And for our last group....

Another successful floating boat!

Here is a close up of our floaters...

Why do you think these all floated??

And here was our sinker...

The group claims they used too much tape and they didn't have anything protecting the 2 sides so water got into the boat pretty easily.

After we tested the boats, the kids each wrote a reflection of their results, explaining what happened and why.

I took a pic of each reflection page to upload to their e-portfolios. It is so neat to see their thinking!

Next week, we are building a bridge that needs to withstand the weight of 3 books. That should be a fun one Stay tuned. :)


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