A MOCathalon category even kindergarteners could attempt.
About this creation
This week in our kindergarten classroom (5 & 6 year olds) we continued our floating experiments. The children tested the buoyancy of containers of various size and material by adding progressively more and more pennies to each one. They hypothesized several interesting ideas; “When water goes inside something, it doesn’t float”, “When the top is on a container, it floats because air is inside”, “Air is the gravity that keeps things up”, “When paper gets wet, it breaks”, “Bigger things float better”, “More weight (pennies) makes things sink”, and “When the water level gets high, it lets the water in (the containers)”.
Toward the end of the day we suggested that we could make our own ‘boats’ out of Lego the next day, and test those the same way. The kids came up with a list of strategies from the observations they made from the morning; “Make it wide and tall”, “Make it light”, “Support it so it doesn’t tip”, Put high walls and a roof on it”, Make it symmetrical” and “make it thick”.
Tuesday we used those ideas to construct our Lego boats with various levels of success. The children soon discovered that their first attempt was not always successful, and it often required several revisions to get the ‘boat’ to hold the maximum amount of pennies, and even to make a boat that doesn’t tip over.
Shades of blue that were once expertly sorted.
Adding walls to keep the water out.
Ready to test the waters, so to speak.
The maiden voyage.
A successful result.
We chose to start with Lego as a first material to construct our boats because of it's natural floating ability and the ease at which the medium could be revised (also, one of the teachers in the class is a 'Lego expert').
Don't know how it is I haven't seen this yet, Dave. What a great little activity for these young minds. I, of course, love sitting cross-legged in the middle of the carpet to watch what my daughter builds when she occasionally dives into my collection, but to see so many at once has to be a great feeling. Maybe some future AFOLs in that bunch. I wonder if you ever have that in mind when you work with kids and LEGO. Are you wondering if you're influencing one of the future's great LEGO builders?
Wow, you have a Lego expert teaching with you? That's awesome man... oh wait... never mind. Ok, jokes aside this was a GREAT experiment that you did with the kids. Anything that fosters cretivity and active learning gets an A+ in my book! You know, if you worked just a "little" bit closer to me, I'd have to make sure that my daughter was in your class when she gets that age. Hats off to you sir. Good show! ~ Chris.