Thursday, June 18, 2015

Floating Think Lab Project

Bob Gross shared this engaging Think Lab construction project with us, along with the exciting results:
 One Sheet Plywood Boats
Think Lab Project 
 Funded by a YEF Grant

 Is it possible to create a boat out of one sheet of plywood that will float with 250 pounds in it?

This question led to the design and construction of a variety of boats, and yes they all float with much more than 250 pounds in them.

Important facts that drove the process: a cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds and for every cubic foot of displaced water a boat will support 62.4 pounds.

The first designs were two dimensional on paper. The students calculated the volume of the boats that they hoped to create. The cubic foot displacement of the early designs ranged from 6 to 12 which supports from about 400 to 750 pounds.

Once the students had determined that a piece of plywood could be used to create a viable boat, the students than created models out of poster board. 

Our 8th grade students answered the question posed above during the annual trip to Range Pond:

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