My daughter cannot pass a reflective surface without checking herself out in it*. Mind you she’s 4 so it isn’t as if she is checking for mascara marks or for vanity sake, she’s simply fascinated by her reflection and also loves to see her various facial expressions as she talks (in fact I’ve busted her during “nap time” practicing her emotions in the mirror in her room). While I was making dinner I had ripped off some aluminum foil and set it on the counter only to turn back and find “M” standing next to me (where did she come from?!?) and looking at herself in the tin foil. I gave it to her to play with and found her a little while later crafting a boat. A child-initiated science project, I’m all in!!!
We made several other “boats”, some from paper, some smaller tin foil sheets, some folded different ways and we tested them all out in the tub. At first it was simply a matter of whether it could actually float. Then it became how much can it hold and still stay sea-worthy. I’m proud to report that “M’s” boat was far and away the best of the bunch!
Some of our observations…..
The paper boat was not long for this world:
The small boat didn’t couldn’t take the weight:
But the largest boat made of tin foil not only floated but could hold lots (marbles, dolls, beads….):
I took this opportunity to talk about the science behind what we were doing. So what is going on? Buoyancy is the upward force exerted by water (or any other liquid or gas) that opposes the weight of an immersed object. So while the boat and everything it was carrying was pushing down (gravity) the buoyancy of the water was pushing up. Also the larger boat had the greatest surface area against the water and therefore could stand more weight.
What kind of science projects do you do with your kids at home? I love suggestions and ideas!
*I’m told that she comes by this honestly by my mom. Apparently I used to have a habit of talking at the dinner table while staring at my reflection in the microwave across from me….. allegedly.