Engineers are presented with a problem and then they design a solution using science and math. Our investigation of sink and float continued and kindergarten, Pre-First, and first grade students were asked to design a boat that could hold pennies. I asked them what ideas they had before we started. Comments included the following: “We need to make the bottom the strongest.” “My boat needs sides, so the pennies don’t fall off and the water doesn’t come in.” “I am going to spread the pennies out, so my boat doesn’t sink in the middle.” ” I am going to check for holes in my boat.” “You need to make sure the corners are tight.” After we tested our boats, we discussed what we learned and ways we might modify our designs.
I encouraged my engineers to use other materials with their foil (such as pencils, straws, sponges, or Popsicle sticks) to create a boat at home in the bath tub. Look at the boat that Luke created at his house.