08 July 2015
Science Club: Titanic
This week in science club we talked about the Titanic. I mentioned how the ship was supposed to be unsinkable and what happened that caused the unsinkable ship to sink. [I did skim over the whole "lots of people drowned and it was really sad" part.] We watched a very short video explaining the compartment system in the bottom of the ship, and then it was time to experiment!
I set out a lot of materials on each table: markers, tape, glue sticks, scissors, foil, string, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, straws, printer paper, etc. The children were told to try to make a boat that can float in water. If they wanted an extra challenge, they could try to make a boat that would hold a "passenger." I had ten plastic rats I purchased on a Halloween clearance sale, and our rats were going to be our boat passengers. There were three buckets set up at the front of the room so that kids could test their boats, adding one passenger at a time until the boat sank.
This was a very popular experiment. I applauded and photographed the kids and their successful boats, and many of them went on to make another, different boat. Those who were not successful were still encouraged to try again, and most kids had at least three turns up at that water buckets. Some even made boats that were able to hold all ten rats, so I definitely would want to have a heavier "passenger" option if I repeated this experiment.
Interest in science club is definitely growing. One of the kids told me she had practiced before coming to science club: "I threw an apple in the water and it sank because, you know, it had all its guts inside and was really heavy." [Note: I know that apples generally float, and I didn't get details about why this apple had special sinking guts.] I am hoping to continue this program throughout the school year, perhaps on a monthly basis.
You can access my Titanic slides here.