Monday, October 10, 2011

Maritime Studies, or Learning about Flotation

 Awhile ago, I told you about the science experiment kits that I ordered from Kids Woot this summer.  They are wonderful for days when I'm not sure any of us are going to make it until dad gets home.  Last week we had just such a day, so I whipped out the kit about boats and flotation.  It has ten pre-prepared science projects.

I let the kids each pick one and it made things better, at least for awhile.  This is your dose of homeschool reality -- it's good, but it ain't always roses I'm just saying.  :)

Wednesday picked the experiment to determine what objects float.  So the kids ran around the house collecting things to try out, and Zhara recorded what floated and what didn't in the science booklet that came with the kit.

It also suggested, in the same experiment, trying the floating egg trick.  So we learned that an egg will sink in regular water, as the egg is heavier than the water.  However, when you add a considerable amount of salt to the water, the egg floats, because the water is denser due to the dissolved salt.  We were already familiar with the concept -- heck, we live 45 minutes from the Great Salt Lake -- but it was still nice to see it demonstrated
Our floating egg

 Then we did Angus's chosen experiment, which was to use the enclosed clay (I told you these kits were awesome), and to divide it into two equal parts.  With one we molded it into the shape of a boat, with the other we made it into three different shapes -- a ball, a ring, and a disc.  Despite the sameness of size, the boat-shaped clay floated, while the other three did not, because the boat was made into a shape that displaced the water evenly, allowing it to float, while the others did not.

 Finally, with Zhara's experiment we made a rubber band propeller boat out of the enclosed pieces, and drove it in the hot tub, learning about potential stored energy and how it is released.  Wednesday got in for full effect.

Angus then made a boat out of Legos to see if he could get it to float in the same manner as the clay boat, which it did.  Hooray for our own experiments!

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