Design, Build and Test a Boat

Design, Build and Test a Boat


Hello, I am Jared, welcome to Fun Science Demos. The big idea today is design, building
things. And what are we going to design and
build? A boat. A boat needs to be able to do two things: float, and move through the water. Believe it or not, each one of these
boats yes, they float, but they also move through the water using different forms of energy. This boat uses
magnetic energy. Next we have chemical energy, then we
have electrical energy, heat energy and this boat uses the
energy of moving air. So where do we start with this design
challenge? I like to start by having my students
draw a picture of a boat they think will float and move
through the water. Anywhere from two to five pictures is a
really good starting point. Remember students can work by themselves
or they can work in a group. But the next step is to pick one picture
and build that boat. These boats looks so nice, but it is
important to realize that it took a lot of redesigning,
rebuilding and retesting to make these boats work. It is design. Boats float and I said they retest them and rebuild them. Where does
all that happen? Well, I have a very scientific piece of
equipment called a rain gutter and I call this the
Rain Gutter Raceway. I actually have a small section here for
us to view but in my classroom I have a 10 foot
long section of rain gutter that we fill up and we race our boats
and test our boats and redesign our boats and rebuild our boats. All within a very comfortable Rain
Gutter Raceway. So now let us get wet and take a look at
these five boats in action. We are going to start with the easiest one,
the magnetic energy boat. I drop it in the water and you can see it is going to flip, which also could be part
of my redesign. I use my magnet; I am not touching the
boat, I am driving it down the channel- the
raceway-of the rain gutter and you can see it move. The next one is the
chemical boat. I am going to fill this with water, add some
fizzy tabs and watch that thing power down the
rain gutter. Simply adding water, filling it up. Now, the interesting thing, we talked about
redesign, the amount of water I add actually has an effect on how well the
boat works. I am going to drop in the fizzy tabs which is
actually going to create a chemical reaction. You can see it happening. I have to do it
rather quickly. If I put in too much water, my boat
might not work as well. And you can see it slowly putt-putt down the rain gutter. Woo! (Students in background) (Oh, there it is.) (Happy little bubbles.) And now for boat number three, our
electrical boat. Now something interesting happened here. When the students designed this, they stuck this electrical motor- it is
just a little fan- on the back in the boat and they found that the fan and the electrical motor was too heavy and the boat
just really did not float well. So they actually put a little tiny weight
in the front of the boat to make it float better. Watch this thing
move across the rain gutter. So I am going to turn this on and it slowly motors across the rain gutter. (In background) Slow and steady, look at it glide away. Mustache goes by. This is the best run you have had so far.
Look at that thing. Nice job! Boat number four is the most
complicated boat. It is actually made out of a little pie tin that we bent up and cut up to form our
boat. But the motor, that is the complicated part. It uses heat
energy. We actually heat up water, the water
creates steam and that powers the boat. To make that is
the complicated part. The students took a soda can and cut it up,
bent it up and created this tiny little chamber
that can hold water. And then they put straws into that
little soda can and put glue- a special kind of glue
called epoxy-all over it to seal it up. Huh, it sounds complicated, it actually is.
And then you have to fill that with water using a dropper. It takes a
little bit of time. The water is in the straws, now we need to
heat that water. How? A candle; a birthday candle. We are going to
light the candle and let the water heat up. You can
actually hear it heating. I am going to use my little lighter here
to help things along, and it takes some time for it to heat. (Students in background exclaiming over boat.) Our last boat, boat number five uses the
force of air under pressure. I am going to blow up this balloon and that
balloon is going to force the air out at the straw and move it down my
Rain Gutter Raceway. Does it matter how big I blow the balloon up? Hmm, part of redesigning. Put it in my Rain Gutter Raceway and off
she goes. (Students in background) Wow! That is so cool. Look, it is still going. Woo! It might make it. Now, if you noticed, some of these boats went down the
raceway quickly, and some not so quickly. Some did not look like they
moved much at all but they did move. How fast your boat goes or how far your
boat goes, it does not matter. This is a design
challenge. All we care about is, can you make your
boat float and can you make it move through the water? To do that you have to retest and rebuild and
rework. That is all a part of design. Science has a
really neat name for this designing and reworking and
building things. They call it engineering. All students
benefit from building challenges and engineering. This is just one of them. Science is so
cool or should I say engineering is so cool. Do not forget to
check out our links in the video description for more ideas on engineering challenges. Thanks for
watching.

4 thoughts on “Design, Build and Test a Boat

  1. I feel like these videos are finally helping me understand and learn better! I didn't realize how things begin to make sense when I can see what's going on.

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