Designing Aluminum Foil Boats & Contest
lesson
Write a review

# Designing Aluminum Foil Boats & Contest

Share

Resource Type Lesson Plan, Presentation
Attributes
Standards Alignment
State-specific

Subjects

• Science
• Engineering
• Math

Time

• 60-90 minutes

Skills

• Teamwork
• Engineering Design Process
• Problem-solving
• Construction

Learning Objective/Goal:

• Understand the basic principles of buoyancy and density.
• Apply engineering concepts to design and build a boat that can hold the maximum weight without sinking.
• Evaluate the design and performance of their boats.

Materials Needed:

• Aluminum foil (sheets of approximately 12 inches by 12 inches)
• Weights for testing (e.g., pennies, marbles)
• Large container of water (e.g., plastic tub, sink)

Background

• Boats float on water because their shape allows them to displace enough water to counteract their weight. Understanding buoyancy and density is crucial in designing boats that can hold weight without sinking.

Activity

Introduction

• Introduce the concept of buoyancy and how boats float.
• Explain the challenge: Students will design and build a boat using only aluminum foil to hold the most weight without sinking.
• Show the class the objects that will be used as weights, other materials, and example boat designs

Construction:

• Provide each team with one or two sheets of aluminum foil.
• Students should start building their boats according to their designs.
• Encourage teamwork and problem-solving as they encounter challenges.

Testing:

• Each team will place their boat in the water in the large container with water and gradually add weights until the boat sinks.
• Record the weight each boat holds and note the design features.

Redesign

• Ask the students what they would like to change about their boat design and to brainstorm new features they could add
• Have them make a new version of the boat with the updated features and new design
• Retest this design and see if it can hold more weight than the first
• This process of construction, testing, and redesign can occur more than once, the goal is for students to understand the fundamentals and that the process is not linear.

Extra

Tips for Students:

• Use the aluminum foil efficiently and strategically to ensure your boat is strong and buoyant.
• Think creatively about the design and aesthetic aspects of your boat.

Tips for Teachers:

• Have example designs of boats or pictures for students to look at
• The more rounds there are, the more materials students will need
• Other materials such as craft supplies can be added but this lesson mainly focuses on boats made solely from aluminum foil

Extensions:

• Integrate a math lesson by having students calculate the volume and surface area of their boats.
• Have students present their designs in front of the class
• Make other constraints, such as a character/figurine cannot get wet or that the boat can only be a certain length, etc.

## Resources

Files

Aluminum Foil Boats.pptx

Presentation
July 2, 2024
1.85 MB

Designing Aluminum Foil Boats & Competition Lesson Plan.pdf

Lesson Plan
July 2, 2024
58.3 KB
External resources

### Standards

Scientists and engineers are constructing and performing investigations in the field or laboratory, working collaboratively as well as individually. Researching analogous problems in order to gain insight into possible solutions allows them to make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution. A plan to a solution pathway is developed prior to constructing and performing investigations. Constructing investigations systematically encompasses identified variables and parameters generating quality data. While performing, scientists and engineers monitor and record progress. After performing, they evaluate to make changes to modify and repeat the investigation if necessary.
use logical reasoning to reach simple conclusions.
develop an understanding that scientific knowledge is ongoing and subject to change as new evidence becomes available through experimental and/or observational confirmation(s); and

## Reviews

Be the first to submit a review!