Grade: 3-5
Subject: Science

#4359. Clay Boats Experiment

Science, level: 3-5
Posted Mon Apr 13 19:01:01 PDT 2009 by Meghan Webb (Meghan Webb).
Huntington, WV

Designing a Boat out of Clay

Name: __________________________

You are to design a boat using only the clay that I have given you. If you want to win the contest, then you must design a boat that will be able to hold a heavy load of coins before sinking. Once you have built your boat, you will put it in the dishpan and add coins one by one. The last boat to sink wins! Good Luck!

• The boat can only be made out of clay
• The boat must be able to float
• The boat must have a mast
• The boat must have a sail
• The boat must have an area to carry cargo (weights)

Units of Measurement
Before we begin building our boats, we need to learn a little bit about measurement, capacity, and ways to weigh water.

1. How many ounces are in a cup? _________
Which one looks like it holds more? Ounce Cup

2. How many cups are in a gallon? _________
Which one looks like it holds more? Cup Gallon

3. How many cups are in pint? __________
Which one looks like it holds more? Cup Pint

4. How many pints are in a quart? __________
Which one looks like it holds more? Pint Quart

5. How many quarts are in a gallon? __________
Which one looks like it holds more? Quart Gallon

Write three things that you think that your boat needs to win this contest.
1. _______________________________
2. _______________________________
3. _______________________________

How many coins do you think that your boat will be able to hold? ______

What does the word buoyancy mean?

Why do boats float and not sink?

After you have finished building your boat, you must complete this form to enter it in the contest.

Name of Boat: _______________________________

Captain of Boat: ______________________________

Skipper of Boat: _______________________________

What type of a boat is it? Fishing Cargo Leisure Speed

Now put your boat on the scale. How many blocks does it weigh? _______

What is the length of your boat? _________ cm

What is the width of your boat? _________ cm

How tall is your mast? ______ cm

How wide are your sails? _________ cm

Draw a picture of your boat winning the contest below:

Clay Boat Experiment
Data Recording Log

Name: ___________________

1. Name of your boat: ___________________

2. Depth of the water: __________ cm (use a ruler to measure the depth)

3. Stick your finger in the water. What is the temperature?
Hot Cold Luke Warm

4. What is the perimeter of the square container? Measure all of the sides and add them together.
a. Side 1: _________ cm
b. Side 2: _________ cm
c. Side 3: _________ cm
d. Side 4: _________ cm

Perimeter: ____________

5. What is the area of your square container? (Length x Width) Measure it!
Length of one side: _______________
Width of one side: ________________

Length _______ x Width ________ = ___________ cm

Now, carefully hold your boat about 3 inches above the water. CAREFULLY drop your boat into the water. What happened to the water? ____________________
What happened to the boat? ___________________________

Experiment: See how many coins that your boat can hold before sinking. Good Luck Mate!

Estimated amount of coins that boat will hold: ____________________

Actual amount of coins that the boat was able to hold before it sank: __________

Imagine that you built boats for a living. Why would the experiment that we did today be important for your career and the safety of others?