How Much Weight Can Aluminum Foil Boats Float?

Before You Start

 

ACTIVE TIME:
30-45 minutes

TOTAL PROJECT TIME:
30-45 minutes

KEY CONCEPTS:
boats, density, volume, floating

Introduction

 

Have you ever wondered how a ship made of steel can float? If you drop a steel bolt in a bucket of water, the bolt quickly sinks to the bottom. Then how can a steel ship float? And better yet, how can a steel ship carry a heavy load without sinking? It has to do with the density, or the mass per volume, of the ship (and its cargo) compared to the density of water. In this science activity, you will make little “boats” out of aluminum foil to explore how their size affects how much weight they carry and how this relates to the density of water.

stem download How Much Weight Can Aluminum Foil Boats Float?

Credits

 

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies

 

This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

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