Monday, June 8, 2015

Will It Sink or Float?

 Matthew is 1 for 1 in not blowing the house up in the name of science, so he got the green light for lab project number two.  This time, he decided to lead "Will it sink or float?"  Of course, being Matthew, he decided to put his own twist on it.  Why use the tap to fill the water bowl when you can just collect rainwater?

An hour later, he had a bowl filled with four quarts of water.

While the bowl was filling, he gathered his materials and created a chart. (Note: The pencil part is the pre-lab chart.  The green marker was from during the experiment.)


large measuring bowl filled with water
small items to test if they will sink or float


1.  Fill the bowl about ¾ full.
2.  Decide if an item you will put in will sink or float. Record what you think on a piece of paper.

3.  Put the item in and see if you are correct. Mark the chart.

4.  Remove item from the water.

5.  Repeat until all items have been tested.

6.  Pour out water. Dry and put everything away.

There's no set "list" of things to test.  Matthew chose a cork and marble, things that he knew would float and sink.  Other than that, it was a guessing game.  Jude chose to test out representatives of each kind of Power Ranger toy he had in his room.

Our list:

plastic Power Ranger figurine
plastic Power Ranger disc
Power Ranger dino-zord part
lego brick
full drink box
empty drink box

One of the "specimens" we tried was a drink box.  It was actually two specimens - one was full, and the other was empty.  What is part of what makes an object sink? Mass.  What makes it float? Less mass.  Here, having air instead of a beverage inside the box makes a big difference.

 The boys enjoyed this one.  They liked guessing if something would sink or float, but mostly I think they liked the water fight when they were "cleaning up."

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