Friday, February 22, 2013

Building Boats

Mr. Jack built upon last year's boat lesson and incorporated last month's bridge building during home school class.  The kids always get excited when they see the straws, foil, tape, and water.  The mission was to build a sturdy boat.

Everyone set out to make the strongest boat.  Triangles were being made from the straws.  Foil was being folded.  Most of the children made a flat bottom barge type boat.  They lined the bottom with triangular supports.  Discussion over how tall the sides should be, should there be an overhead structure, should the sides be supported, etc. filled the room.

The girls are busy building their boat.

Some children worked in groups and pairs and others designed their own boat.  The smaller children tugged at their mothers to help build a boat.  Other children summoned their mothers to be the official tape dispensers. 

The boys decided to make their own boats.
 After the majority of the children finished building their boats, Mr. Jack began testing the designs.  The children stood around the testing table and anxiously awaited their turn. 

Mr. Jack tested the boats using rocks.  He had four small rocks with a combined weight of about five pounds.  He also, had a large rock that weighed about five pounds.  The children wanted their boat to hold all the rocks.  Unfortunately, only one boat was able to all the rocks.  However, none of the children were disappointed with their boats.  If their boat didn't hold as many rocks as they wanted, they went back to their table and worked on the design.  Mr. Jack would test the new design.

Little Man's boat being tested.

The girls' boat is holding four rocks.  Can it hold the big one too?

What a fun class!  The children love being engineers.