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Science with Bouyancy Experiments for Kids!

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Today for a change of pace we did a project you can do with pretty much no equipment at all. Just a bowl of water, and some clay/Playdough and tin foil.

Why do rubber ducks float? Glad you asked!
Why do rubber ducks float? Glad you asked!

The idea behind the experiment came from my son asking me if metal boats could float. The answer of course is a resounding yes, but I wanted to explain in terms he could understand why a metal boat can float. The concept that allows a heavier than water material to be used as a boat that floats on water is called buoyancy.

What do you think, will it float?
What do you think, will it float?

An object is buoyant when its density is less than that of the material you float on. As you can see in the video, we are both really bad at making boats out of stuff. But I hope you enjoy watching us experiment with boat shapes, and explaining why different things float and sink.

 

Nope, the clay is too heavy to float!
Nope, the clay is too heavy to float!

As you can see the clay was way too heavy to float. That is because it had a higher density than the water. What that means is that the same volume (which is the amount of space the clay occupies) of water is lighter than that of the Clay.

Notice how the sponge starts out floating at the top.
Notice how the sponge starts out floating at the top.

When we dropped the sponge into the water it floated nicely at the top, but quickly it sank because a sponge is full of air that can easily escape and be replaced by the water around it.

Notice how it sinks over time.
Notice how it sinks over time.

Next we made a boat out of tin foil. It wasn’t pretty but it floated without any difficulty, and could hold extra weight too. Be sure to watch the video to learn more about buoyancy!

Notice how this tin foil boat is floating on top of the water.
Notice how this tin foil boat is floating on top of the water.

 

Until next time, have a great day, and thanks again for watching! Be sure to like and subscribe to our channel, and don’t forget to share any ideas you have on how we could do this demo better, or what you want to see in a future episode.

Please like and subscribe to our channel, and be sure to come back next time.
Please like and subscribe to our channel, and be sure to come back next time.
Joseph Dattilo Writer, Electrical Engineer, CEO and founder of Virtuabotix LLC, and completely crazy in every way.

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