|Brief Description||Students build the tallest tower possible to support a marshmallow. They can use only dry spaghetti and tape.|
|Subject||Types of Engineering, Miscellaneous|
|Grade Level||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|Time||1 Hour Total|
|Lesson Objectives:||Depending on your goals for the unit, the lesson objectives may include:
|Preparation and Set Up:||
|Necessary Background||This activity requires no specific background. Many STOMPers use it to introduce the engineering design process.|
|Author||Laura Fradin, Jake Hellman|
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|Name ofActivity||Buoyancy and Boat Design|
|Keywords||boats, buoyancy, air resistance, base, sail|
|Brief Description||This activity combines the study of how upward resistance of water on a boat and air resistance on a sail to better build a sturdy sailboat. It is most effective when students have already done parachute activities and learned how to make a good structure that captures air resistance. Also, make sure to emphasize that the sturdiness of the boat’s base is important.|
|Learning Goals:||- Teaches students to build strong bases
- Introduces students to buoyancy
- Utilizes knowledge of air resistance and how it can be advantageous
- Teaches students the importance of testing and rebuilding
|Materials:||popsicle sticks, coffee filters, construction paper, cardboard, string, masking tape, duct tape, weights, aluminum foil, saran wrap, straws, clay, tub, fan|
|Preparation:||- Go through powerpoint (see attached) and prepare to present it in meaningful way.
- Arrange students in pairs.
- Make sure you have tubs that can hold water and a fan that can act as wind for the sailboat.
|Knowledge Background||Some prior basic knowledge of air resistance and buoyancy is helpful.|
|Procedure||1. Use PPT (attached) to introduce buoyancy and how that factors into boat design(about 6 minutes). 2. Divide students into pairs. 3. Allow students about 35 minutes to build a sailboat and test it first with weights in a tub of still water and then with weights in a tub of water next to a fan, to factor in wind and test the sail and stability of the boat when it moves. Encourage a lot of building, testing, and then redesigning and improving to test again. 4. In the next 10 minutes, make sure all groups have tested their boats at least once. Talk with them while they test to make sure they can tell you what works, what doesn’t, and why. 5. Use the last couple of minutes (about 8) to clean up and wrap up with a discussion of what the students learned.|