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  • Buoyancy
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ACP Less
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Students will use engineering skills to develop and use models as well as collaboratively plan an investigation to make sense of buoyancy.

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Subject:
Oceanography
Education
Character Education
Environmental Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Learning Task
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Other
Author:
Blake Jersey
Date Added:
01/16/2020
Above-Ground Storage Tank Design Project
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Educational Use
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At this point in the unit, students have learned about Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's principle, and why above-ground storage tanks are of major concern in the Houston Ship Channel and other coastal areas. In this culminating activity, student groups act as engineering design teams to derive equations to determine the stability of specific above-ground storage tank scenarios with given tank specifications and liquid contents. With their floatation analyses completed and the stability determined, students analyze the tank stability in specific storm conditions. Then, teams are challenged to come up with improved storage tank designs to make them less vulnerable to uplift, displacement and buckling in storm conditions. Teams present their analyses and design ideas in short class presentations.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Above-Ground Storage Tanks in the Houston Ship Channel
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Students are provided with an introduction to above-ground storage tanks, specifically how and why they are used in the Houston Ship Channel. The introduction includes many photographic examples of petrochemical tank failures during major storms and describes the consequences in environmental pollution and costs to disrupted businesses and lives, as well as the lack of safety codes and provisions to better secure the tanks in coastal regions regularly visited by hurricanes. Students learn how the concepts of Archimedes' principle and Pascal's law act out in the form of the uplifting and buckling seen in the damaged and destroyed tanks, which sets the stage for the real-world engineering challenge presented in the associated activity to design new and/or improved storage tanks that can survive storm conditions.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Art and Design
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Advanced Fluid Dynamics of the Environment, Fall 2002
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

Theoretical topics of fluid dynamics relevant to natural phenomena or man-made hazards in water and atmosphere. Basic law of fluid motion. Scaling and approximations. Slow flows, with applications to drag on a particle and mud flow on a slope. Boundary layers: jets and plumes in pure fluids or in porous media. Thermal and buoyancy effects, selective withdrawal and internal waves. Transient boundary layers in impulsive flows or waves. Induced streaming and mass transport. Dispersion in steady flows or in waves. Effects of earth rotation on coastal flows. Wind induced flow in shallow seas. Stratified seas and coastal upwelling.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Mei, Chiang C.
Date Added:
01/01/2002
Archimedes' Principle, Pascal's Law and Bernoulli's Principle
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Educational Use
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Students are introduced to Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle and Bernoulli's principle. Fundamental definitions, equations, practice problems and engineering applications are supplied. A PowerPoint® presentation, practice problems and grading rubric are provided.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington
Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Balloons
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Educational Use
Rating

Students follow the steps of the engineering design process as they design and construct balloons for aerial surveillance. After their first attempts to create balloons, they are given the associated Estimating Buoyancy lesson to learn about volume, buoyancy and density to help them iterate more successful balloon designs.Applying their newfound knowledge, the young engineers build and test balloons that fly carrying small flip cameras that capture aerial images of their school. Students use the aerial footage to draw maps and estimate areas.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Marissa H. Forbes
Mike Soltys
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Balloons & Buoyancy
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Experiment with a helium balloon, a hot air balloon, or a rigid sphere filled with different gases. Discover what makes some balloons float and others sink.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Danielle Harlow
Kathy Perkins
PhET Interactive Simulations
Ron LeMaster
Date Added:
11/15/2007
Balloons & Buoyancy (AR)
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Experiment with a helium balloon, a hot air balloon, or a rigid sphere filled with different gases. Discover what makes some balloons float and others sink.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Harlow, Danielle
LeMaster, Ron
Perkins, Kathy
Wieman, Carl
Date Added:
07/02/2009
Buoyancy
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Adams, Wendy
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Jonathan Olson
Kathy Perkins
Kelly Lancaster
Lancaster, Kelly
Loeblein, Trish
Malley, Chris
Noah Podolefsky
Olson, Jonathan
Paulson, Archie
Perkins, Kathy
PhET Interactive Simulations
Podolefsky, Noah
Reid, Sam
Sam Reid
Trish Loeblein
Wendy Adams
Wieman, Carl
Date Added:
09/30/2010
Buoyancy (AR)
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Adams, Wendy
Lancaster, Kelly
Loeblein, Trish
Malley, Chris
Olson, Jonathan
Paulson, Archie
Perkins, Kathy
Podolefsky, Noah
Reid, Sam
Wieman, Carl
Date Added:
10/01/2010
Buoyant Boats
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Educational Use
Rating

Students conduct a simple experiment to see how the water level changes in a beaker when a lump of clay sinks in the water and when the same lump of clay is shaped into a bowl that floats in the water. They notice that the floating clay displaces more water than the sinking clay does, perhaps a surprising result. Then they determine the mass of water that is displaced when the clay floats in the water. A comparison of this mass to the mass of the clay itself reveals that they are approximately the same.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Mary R. Hebrank (project writer and consultant)
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Cartesian Diver
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Educational Use
Rating

Students observe Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle and the ideal gas law as a Cartesian diver moves within a closed system. The Cartesian diver is neutrally buoyant and begins to sink when an external pressure is applied to the closed system. A basic explanation and proof of this process is provided in this activity, and supplementary ideas for more extensive demonstrations and independent group activities are presented.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Cartesian Diver Design Challenge
Restricted Use
Copyright Restricted
Rating

Students are asked to design a Cartesian Diver from a list of materials. The lesson hand-out includes all materials needed, steps for construction, and list of resources to help with designing and understanding the concepts involved in the creation of the divers. The challenge is then to make three different divers that dive in a predicted order.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Reference Material
Provider:
Flinn Scientific, Inc.
Date Added:
06/30/2016
Clay Boats
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Educational Use
Rating

Students use a small quantity of modeling clay to make boats that float in a tub of water. The object is to build boats that hold as much weight as possible without sinking. In the process of designing and testing their prototype creations, students discover some of the basic principles of boat design, gain first-hand experience with concepts such as buoyancy and density, and experience the steps of the engineering design process.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Art and Design
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Mary R. Hebrank (project writer and consultant )
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Density
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Why do objects like wood float in water? Does it depend on size? Create a custom object to explore the effects of mass and volume on density. Can you discover the relationship? Use the scale to measure the mass of an object, then hold the object under water to measure its volume. Can you identify all the mystery objects?

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Jonathan Olson
Kathy Perkins
Kelly Lancaster
Noah Podolefsky
PhET Interactive Simulations
Sam Reid
Trish Loeblein
Wendy Adams
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Estimating Buoyancy
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Educational Use
Rating

Students learn that buoyancy is responsible for making boats, hot air balloons and weather balloons float. They calculate whether or not a boat or balloon will float, and calculate the volume needed to make a balloon or boat of a certain mass float. Conduct the first day of the associated activity before conducting this lesson.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Marissa H. Forbes
Mike Soltys
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Eureka! Or Buoyancy and Archimedes' Principle
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Educational Use
Rating

Students explore material properties in hands-on and visually evident ways via the Archimedes' principle. First, they design and conduct an experiment to calculate densities of various materials and present their findings to the class. Using this information, they identify an unknown material based on its density. Then, groups explore buoyant forces. They measure displacement needed for various materials to float on water and construct the equation for buoyancy. Using this equation, they calculate the numerical solution for a boat hull using given design parameters.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Art and Design
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Andy Wekin
CREAM GK-12 Program, Engineering Education Research Center, College of Engineering and Architecture,
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Floaters and Sinkers: Lesson
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Educational Use
Rating

This lesson introduces students to the important concept of density. The focus is on the more easily understood densities of solids, but students can also explore the densities of liquids and gases. Students devise methods to determine the densities of solid objects, including the method of water displacement to determine volumes of irregularly-shaped objects. By comparing densities of various solids to the density of water, and by considering the behavior of different solids when placed in water, students conclude that ordinarily, objects with densities greater than water will sink, while those with densities less than water will float. Density is an important material property for engineers to understand.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Engineering K-Ph.D. Program,
Mary R. Hebrank (project writer and consultant), Duke University
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Floating and Falling Flows
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Educational Use
Rating

Students discover fluid dynamics related to buoyancy through experimentation and optional photography. Using one set of fluids, they make light fluids rise through denser fluids. Using another set, they make dense fluids sink through a lighter fluid. In both cases, they see and record beautiful fluid motion. Activities are also suitable as class demonstrations. The natural beauty of fluid flow opens the door to seeing the beauty of physics in general.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Education
Performing and Visual Arts
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Cody Taylor
Denise Carlson
Flow Visualization Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Gala Camacho
Jean Hertzberg
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Life Vest Challenge
Restricted Use
Copyright Restricted
Rating

Lesson explores the engineering behind life vests or personal flotation devices and the challenges met by these devices. Students work in teams to design and build a flotation device out of everyday materials that can keep an unopened can of soup or vegetables afloat in a bucket of water or sink for a minute. They design their life vest, build and test it, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TryEngineering
Date Added:
06/16/2015
The Physics of Fluid Mechanics
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Educational Use
Rating

From drinking fountains at playgrounds, water systems in homes, and working bathrooms at schools to hydraulic bridges and levee systems, fluid mechanics are an essential part of daily life. Fluid mechanics, the study of how forces are applied to fluids, is outlined in this unit as a sequence of two lessons and three corresponding activities. The first lesson provides a basic introduction to Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle and Bernoulli's principle and presents fundamental definitions, equations and problems to solve with students, as well as engineering applications. The second lesson provides a basic introduction to above-ground storage tanks, their pervasive use in the Houston Ship Channel, and different types of storage tank failure in major storms and hurricanes. The unit concludes with students applying what they have learned to determine the stability of individual above-ground storage tanks given specific storm conditions so they can analyze their stability in changing storm conditions, followed by a project to design their own storage tanks to address the issues of uplift, displacement and buckling in storm conditions.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Plate Tectonics
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Explore how plates move on the surface of the earth. Change temperature, composition, and thickness of plates. Discover how to create new mountains, volcanoes, or oceans!

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Emily Moore
Heather Houlton
Jonathan Olson
Kathy Perkins
Kat Quigley
Kevin Beals
Lauren Brodsky
Noah Podolefsky
Phaela Peck
PhET Interactive Simulations
Suzy Loper
Date Added:
08/20/2012
Rock and Boat
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Educational Use
Rating

Students are presented with a challenge question that they must answer with scientific and mathematical reasoning. The challenge question is: "You have a large rock on a boat that is floating in a pond. You throw the rock overboard and it sinks to the bottom of the pond. Does the water level in the pond rise, drop or remain the same?" Students observe Archimedes' principle in action in this model recreation of the challenge question when a toy boat is placed in a container of water and a rock is placed on the floating boat. Students use terminology learned in the classroom as well as critical thinking skills to derive equations needed to answer this question.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Viking Ship Design Challenge
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Rating

In this design challenge, students learn about the Vikings from an engineering point-of-view. While investigating the history and anatomy of Viking ships, they learn how engineering solutions are shaped by the surrounding environment and availability of resources. Students apply this knowledge to design, build and test their own model Viking ships.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
World History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
What Floats Your Boat?
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Educational Use
Rating

Students use modeling clay, a material that is denser than water and thus ordinarily sinks in water, to discover the principle of buoyancy. They begin by designing and building boats out of clay that will float in water, and then refine their designs so that their boats will carry as great a load (metal washers) as possible. Building a clay boat to hold as much weight as possible is an engineering design problem. Next, they compare amount of water displaced by a lump of clay that sinks to the amount of water displaced by the same lump of clay when it is shaped so as to float. Determining the masses of the displaced water allows them to arrive at Archimedes' principle, whereby the mass of the displaced water equals the mass of the floating clay boat.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Mary R. Hebrank
Mary R. Hebrank (project writer and consultant )
TeachEngineering.org
Date Added:
09/18/2014