Mrs Ferguson planned an interesting STEM challenge for her class today as part of their Social Studies topic on the Titanic. The children were given just one resource with which to make a vessel capable of holding an increasing load of coins afloat.
The boys and girls were required to measure and cut a tin foil rectangle 13cm by 15cm with which to make their lifeboat – that’s it, nothing else!
We popped out into the sunshine to test our vessels in buckets of water. Some sank without a trace, and some floated victoriously. The maximum load was an impressive 23 pennies!
Everyone concluded that the designs that allowed the weight to be distributed as widely as possible, with the largest surface area, were more capable of holding coin weight. We all agreed that this was the lifeboat we would like to be on.
The boys and girls then experimented with a larger quantity of tin foil to give more design flexibility. Murray’s team constructed a very high sided vessel that was able to hold all the coins. Even though it got weighed down by the all of the coins, the water didn’t breach the sides of the craft.