Boat Float And A Science Fair

This week our science experiment was a bit more detailed than usual because....
Piper was going to a SCIENCE FAIR!
I selected a boat float experiment for her to do since I wanted something simple enough to understand and fun to do.
We were not disappointed!

First, we did some research.
Because she was unsure of what float and sink meant exactly, I took some time to explain these words to her.
Next, I gave her various items - a marble, a toothpick, a leaf, a foam toy, a crayon - and had her predict what would float and what would sink.
Then she got to work dropping each item in a jar of water to see if her predictions proved true!

She absolutely loved doing this and so I let her take her time.
She spent a half an hour dropping things in the water, taking them out and trying again.
As she was doing this we chatted about reasons why certain things floated and others sank.

And although I had not yet mentioned the fact that we would get into making boats, she came up with one all on her own!


After a while, we moved on to the actual experiment:
Can we turn something that sinks into something that floats?

To begin, she made a ball out of some modelling clay and predicted that it would sink.
She was correct, of course

I then asked her if we could change the shape of the clay ball so that it would float.
She quickly came up with the idea of making it into a boat just like she had done with some of the items in her reasearch!
Her first boat was completely flat and sank immediately.
We discussed why this happened and what we could change to make it float.

I suggested making sides on the boat since she had difficulty thinking of what to do next.
Once we added the sides to it, the boat had no problem floating.

As an extension, we asked the question:
Can the boat hold extra weight and still float?

To find out, I pulled out some marbles for her to add to the boat.
But first she predicted how many the boat would be able to hold.
She guessed 5 and then began adding marbles.

The first boat held 3 marbles before it sank!
I then asked what we could do to make the boat better and able to hold more marbles.
We ended up making one that was bigger (double the amount of clay).

Piper predicted the better boat would only hold 3 marbles.
I guess she doubted it would be any better then the last boat!
But it proved to be far better, holding 7 marbles!


A few days later we gathered all our data, printed photos and got to work making a poster board to present our ideas at the science fair.
I figured Piper would be rather bored with making the poster board but she was very enthusiastic!
She helped with everything!
It was so nice to work side by side on this project!
Taitum joined us off and on as well!

Saturday was the science fair.
Piper was so excited - mostly about getting to go to a school since I'm sure she wasn't really aware of what a science fair was exactly!
We set up our board and clay, marbles and water so other people could try their hand at making a boat.
The whole gym was full of kids with their projects set up and visitors were free to stop at each table and hear about the child's project.
At first, Piper was very shy but eventually she really got into it especially when other kids came by to try making a boat!

Here is her poster board in a little more detail:

She drew a picture of a bot with marbles in it.

She drew a picture of each of the items she tested during her research.


She printed the words 'float' and 'sink' on the board.


Here is Piper and Tait accepting their awards for participating in the science fair!

They both recieved medals!
They had such an enjoyable time at the fair - not only presenting their project but also checking out other children's projects.
We're looking forward to doing it again next year!

Yay! Science is fun!

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