Boat Experiments for Science Projects

Written by tamara christine van hooser Google
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Boat Experiments for Science Projects
Designing a boat challenges students to discover what keeps it afloat. (Boat image by Naughty_bee from

Boat experiments for science projects teach students about the concept of buoyancy. As they experiment with designing a water-safe craft, they discover what it takes to make objects sink or float; they also gain skill in applying the scientific process. Students will enjoy testing their designs in a large sink, basin of water, pond, lake, river or bathtub.

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Egg Boat

Using aluminium pie pans, sandwich bags and tape, design a boat that can safely hold eggs. PBS' ZoomSci suggests challenging your friends to make a design that supports the greatest number of eggs possible. The friendly competition can become a fun hands-on activity at a science fair.


Steam Boat

Using recycled materials such as pop cans, straws, pie tins, milk and juice cartons, polystyrene trays, copper wire and a candle, students can make an old-fashioned steam boat that zips around under its own power. (For detailed instructions, see the Science Toy Maker link in the References section.) Take pictures and record your construction process to impress your friends and teachers with your science project.

Soap Boat

Students learn about surface tension with this simple polystyrene boat. from Creative Kids at Home. Cut a basic oval or football boat shape out of a polystyrene tray and set it afloat. A drop of soap at the back end of the boat will propel it forward. Empty the container, refill and repeat the process for a demonstration exhibit.

Foil Boat

Build a boat out of aluminium foil. Try different shapes and designs to discover which one holds the most pennies before submerging. Easy-Science-Fair-Projects recommends graphing your results and writing a summary of your experiment process for your science fair display.

Craft Dough Boat

Preschoolers, kindergartners and modelling dough naturally go together. Therefore, children of these ages may enjoy trying to create a dough boat that floats. Kids-Science-Experiments suggests letting the students try to float a ball of dough before moulding the boat. Comparing results can spark discussion on what makes objects sink or float.

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