Thursday, August 8, 2013

Discovering a new world

 Recently the kids and I finished reading the chapter in our US history book about Columbus discovering the new world.  I thought of a science experiment to go with it that the kids LOVED! (and that it always a good sign.) 
The Materials: 
Some construction paper, tape, toothpicks, scissors, and a Styrofoam plate (I save the ones that come with the produce I buy--they come in handy in all sorts of projects--painting, making small boats to sail to the new world, etc.)
I am very big on giving my kids materials and basic instructions and then just turning them loose to experiment.  In this case, I told them to make a boat they could blow from Spain to the New World  the fastest.  
 Jelly Bean wasn't interested in making a ship. He was more interested in making waves in the ocean.

I love how my kids take their experimentation so seriously.  They each made several models, with different theories about which ones would go fastest and why. 
 Bogey made a large boat with a tiny sail first.
 But when he tried it out, it didn't sail straight and sank. 

 Back to the drawing board.
 Dev's theory was that if she covered the construction paper in wax (from the crayon) it wouldn't get wet.  She also completely taped the bottom of her boat to make the surface more smooth, theorizing that it would glide over the water more smoothly.  (Also, it looks like there is a fight breaking out in the background that I didn't see)
 Lots of testing.  That was the funnest part!

 They made it!  We did three heats in a double elimination round.  All the boats were great with lots of ingenuity put into them.  But in the end, it was Dev's super slime/ huge sails/smooth bottom boat that cut straight through the water and made the fastest average time.  Yeah, Dev!

And it was a total reward for me to come into the kitchen later that day to find that Dev and Cal experimenting in making a board aerodynamic enough for the army guy to surf over the edge of the sink.  My kids are awesome!


Who knows what he will say next said...

I love this idea!! It looks like so much fun. You kiddos have such a creative mom :)

The Hatch Family said...

Loved this, Erin! So, we're moving to the Portland, OR area. Hopefully find a rental in Tigard. Finally doing it:)