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Students are introduced to the important concept of density with a focus is on the more easily understood densities of solids. Students use different methods to determine the densities of solid objects, including 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 sink, while those with densities less than water float. Then they explore the principle of buoyancy, and through further experimentation arrive at Archimedes' principle that a floating object displaces a mass of water equal to its own mass. Students may be surprised to discover that a floating object displaces more water than a sinking object of the same volume.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Physics
Technology and Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Mary R. Hebrank (project writer and consultant)
09/18/2014
Educational Use
Rating
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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:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Physics
Technology and Engineering
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
09/18/2014
Educational Use
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
Career and Technical Education
Education
Fine Arts
Performing and Visual Arts
Physical Science
Physics
Technology and Engineering
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
09/18/2014
Restricted Use
Rating
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Go flying with the kids of The Yard and learn the science behind hot air balloons! Players control their altitude by heating the balloon or releasing air with the air flap. Learn about buoyancy, volume, and air pressure, or use the Playground setting to fly your balloon however you want and experiment with all the gauges!

Subject:
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Game
Author:
Field Day
01/29/2024
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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This activity is a lab where students design an experiment to construct a self-powered mini-submarine that stays underwater for at least 10 seconds, and then float back up to the top of the water level. Buoyancy and density are applied and discussed.

Subject:
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Abigail Baker
02/10/2023
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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0.0 stars

This activity is an inquiry investigation where students gather data on why the Cartesian diver sinks or floats. They then develop a new question and then conduct a new investigation by changing one variable and repeat the altered experiment and record their conclusions.

Subject:
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Lee Anne Garhofer
02/10/2023
Restricted Use
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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:
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TryEngineering
06/16/2015
Educational Use
Rating
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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:
Career and Technical Education
Earth and Space Science
Hydrology
Technology and Engineering
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,
09/18/2014
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
Earth and Space Science
Geology
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Emily Moore
Heather Houlton
Jonathan Olson
Kat Quigley
Kathy Perkins
Kevin Beals
Lauren Brodsky
Noah Podolefsky
PhET Interactive Simulations
Phaela Peck
Suzy Loper
08/20/2012
Educational Use
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
Career and Technical Education
Mathematics
Physical Science
Physics
Technology and Engineering
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
09/18/2014
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson has activities where students will learn about buoyancy and explore how hot water rises and cold water sinks. As an extension and real-life application, students will see that glacial run-off is occurring at a rapid pace and the cold glacial water could potentially change ocean currents thus influencing global climates.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Earth and Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Stanley Mraz
02/10/2023
Educational Use
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
Career and Technical Education
Social Studies
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
10/14/2015
Educational Use
Rating
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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:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Physics
Technology and Engineering
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