Play-Doh is a mouldable compound sold by Hasbro used by kids at home and in the classroom. The brand has been providing kids with imaginative fun for more than 50 years. Play-Doh is not only entertaining but it can be educational as well. Your child can conduct a variety of science projects using Play-Doh and a couple of them are ideal for any age level.
- Skill level:
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Fill a bucket 3/4 full with water.
Place a ball of Play-Doh into the water and watch to see if it sinks or floats. Record your observations on a piece of paper. The ball should sink.
Remove the ball of Play-Doh from the water and mould it into the shape of a boat.
Place the Play-Doh boat into the water and watch to see if it sinks or floats. Record your observations on a piece of paper. The boat should float.
Ask why the Play-Doh sinks when it's a ball and not when it's a boat. It is most likely because a heavy load will sink. As a ball, the water cannot support the Play-Doh so it sinks. In the shape of a boat, the water supports the bottom, so it doesn't sink.
Continue experimenting with other shapes to see which will float and which will not. Add tiny balls of Play-Doh to the boat to see how many you can add before the boat sinks or if the boat sinks at all.
Change the shape of the boat giving it a longer bottom, a wider bottom, or a narrower bottom to see which shape floats best.
Press the Play-Doh into a cylinder shape. You can use the canister it comes in or a small cup to get an evenly shaped cylinder. Measure the volume of the Play-Doh by multiplying the area of the circular base by the height and record it on a piece of paper.
Play with the Play-Doh for about 10 minutes, moulding it, rolling it and bending it into shapes.
Press the Play-Doh into a cylinder once more and measure its volume.
Continue playing with the Play-Doh for another 10 minute interval and record the weight and volume of the cylinder when you're finished. Compare your measurements. The Play-Doh should not lose volume because you did not add or take anything away.
Determine what may be responsible for a change in volume if the measurements were different. It is possible that an error was made in measuring each cylinder, or pieces may have stuck under your fingernails or in the canister itself.
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