Thursday, May 5, 2011
Thursday, May 5
CLAY BOATS! Have you ever made a clay boat? Today, half of the 5th graders at Brenham Middle School made clay boats. That is about 160 clay boats!! They tried to get their boats to float and hold as much cargo as possible. We had some excellent boat designs. We learned about the force of gravity and the force of buoyancy!
I am going to update and add information to this original post.
We gave each child about a 1.5 x 1.5 inch cube of clay and had them experiment in making a design which would hold the most cargo. We used small area cubes from the math manipulatives set. If their boat sank, they could re-design their boat to make a better design.
I used walmart storage tubs (approx. 9" high x 11" wide x 14 "long to float the boats. Students were in groups of 4 or 5.
It is good to start out with the clay in the block and then note that it sinks in water immediately. As they modify the shape, it will cause the boat to float. This brings in the concepts of buoyancy and density.
Hope this helps. We floated about 300 boats! The raft shapes really worked the best.