fbpx
Pre-purchased tickets required. Tickets available online or by calling 716.896.5200   

Virtual Science Fair

View All Activities
science icon yellow - Float Your Boat

Float Your Boat

Have science fun as a family! Complete activities with parental supervision.

Materials:
  • At least three pieces of aluminum foil (recommended approximately 6”x 6” square pieces, one per boat)
  • A bin or large bowl
  • Water
  • Pennies (or washers)
  • Paper for recording data
  • Pen or pencil
  • A towel
Procedure
  1. Fill the bin or large bowl with water. The water should be 2-3 inches deep.
  2. Shape the pieces of aluminum foil into boats of different shapes and sizes.
  3. Place one of the boats into the pan. See what boat floats best by adding pennies to the boat until it sinks!
  4. Count and record how many pennies the boat could hold before sinking.
  5. Repeat these steps with your other boats. Do some shapes work better than others? What kind of boats hold the most coins? The least?
  6. Be sure to take a picture or video to share in the Facebook comments on the Buffalo Museum of Science or Tifft Nature Preserve pages!

What’s it all about?

Engineers apply science and math to solve problems and change our world. How do engineers solve problems?

It all starts with a question. From there, they imagine and test out different solutions, learning more and more with every test.

Try It!
  • Using what you learned from the other boats, could you improve on your design? Create another boat using the ideas you learned in your test boats! Try to beat your record!
  • Is all water the same? Create two identical boats and get another bowl or basin. To one bowl, add about 1 cup of salt. Then, add pennies. Do you get the same results?
marketing or procedural A Penny Saved range of penny colors scaled - Float Your Boat
marketing or procedural A Penny Saved range of penny colors scaled - Float Your Boat
marketing or procedural A Penny Saved range of penny colors scaled - Float Your Boat

More Great Virtual Science Fair Activities

  • Decoder Wheel

    Secret codes have been used for thousands of years to send messages that you didn’t want just anyone reading. Try your hand at cryptography, the study of secret codes, in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Bird Beaks

    Explore how different bird beak adaptations can help birds eat and survive in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Saltwater, Freshwater

    How do you make drinkable water out of saltwater? Try making a solar sill in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Earthquake Epicenter

    Western New York had its very own earthquake yesterday afternoon! Scientists determined that the epicenter of this 2.3 magnitude earthquake was in Wanakah, NY - but what IS an epicenter? Check out this Virtual Science Fair activity to find out!Open Activity

  • Penny Chemistry

    Find out why the Statue of Liberty is that light green color in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity