Whatever Floats Your Boat

Megan Franklin
Elaine Layman
Casey Thomas

Topic: Boats, Floating, and Sinking

Rationale: This unit is to help students understand the concept of floating, what properties are occurring while a boat is floating, and what causes a boat to sink. Students need to learn these concepts in order to be safe when in a boat, and can help them if they wish to pursue a career in boats.

Goals:
1. Students will understand how boats float.
2. Students will understand the meanings of the terms buoyancy, density, mass, and volume, and how they apply to floating.
3. Students will learn the structure of a boat.
4. Students will explore different boat structures, and what constructions make better boats.

Unit Map:
Boats
I. Boat structure
a. Hull
b. Bow, Deck, and Gunwale
c. Chine
d. Stern
e. Rudder and Propeller
II. History of Boats
a. Change in structure
b. Change in fuel
III. Flotation vs. Sinking
a. Buoyancy
b. Density
c. Mass
d. Volume

Concepts:
• Hull: consists of an internal network of frames that extend from side to side (transverse) and that run the length of the boat (longitudinal), covered by outer shell plating, usually made of fiberglass or metal. Each boat also has a keel, the backbone of the boat which runs along the center bottom of the boat.
• Bow: designed to the lift the boat with the waves, rather than cutting into them.
• Deck: the curvature of the deck from stem to stern, known as sheer, along with the flare and tumblehome also determine the boat's displacement and buoyancy. Flare increases displacement, and is the outward turn of the hull as the sides come up from the waterline. Tumblehome is the reverse of flare.
• Gunwale: it is the shape of the hull from the gunwale, the upper edge of the side of a boat, to the waterline. The curvature of the deck from beam to beam, or camber, allows water to flow off the deck.
• Chine: how your boat handles and its speed depends in part on the chine – the part of the boat below the waterline – and the shape of the stern or transom. If the chine is rounded, it is a soft chine; if it squared off, it is a hard chine.
• Stern: Following seas can be dangerous, causing a boat to broach or pitch pole (the stern is lifted higher than the bow, which can cause capsizing). A flat, square stern has a broader surface for a wave to act upon compared to a round stern. The round, or cruiser stern, is safer in following seas because the wave splits and travels forward along each side of the boat.
• Rudder and Propeller: The rudder steers the boat, which is driven by one or more screw propellers.
• Buoyancy: an upward acting force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight.
• Density: the measure of the relative "heaviness" of objects with a constant volume.
• Volume: how much three-dimensional space a substance (solid, liquid, gas, or plasma) or shape occupies or contains
• Mass: a body of coherent matter, usually of indefinite shape and often of considerable size.

Engagement, Inquiry, and End Product:
• As a class, students will create a KWL chart, in which they document what they already know about boats, what they want to know about boats, and, at the end of the unit, what they learned about boats.
• “Question Wall”: At the beginning of each activity, students will write down five questions they have about the topic we are learning. Before beginning the activity, students will each share one question (in case one of their questions is asked, they have four more to choose from). The teacher will record the questions on construction paper. Afterwards, the construction paper will be posted on the wall. Throughout the activity, if a question on that board gets answered, students may go up and write the answer under the question. At the end of the activity, we will look to see what questions were answered. This can be done before every activity.
• End products: timeline, build a boat, Question Wall, class competition

Sub-Unit Activities, Inquiries, Inquiry Questions, and Data Analyses
(Presented in sequential order)
1. Hull
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What is the hull of a boat?
 What is its importance to floatation?
 How has the structure of a hull changed over time?
 Collect data in journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture
2. Bow
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What is the bow of a boat?
 Why is it important to floatation?
 How has the structure of a bow changed over time?
 Collect data in journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture
3. Deck
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What is the deck of the boat?
 What is its importance to floatation?
 How has the structure of a deck changed throughout history?
 Collect data in journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture
4. Gunwale
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What is the gunwale of a boat?
 Why is it important?
 How has the structure of a gunwale changed over time?
 Collect data in journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture
5. Chine
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What is the chine of a boat?
 How is it important to floatation?
 How has the structure of a chine changed over time?
 Collect data in a journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture
6. Stern
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What is the stern of a boat?
 How is it important to floatation?
 How has the structure of a stern changed over time?
 Collect data in journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture
7. Rudder and Propeller
 Design and build a boat
 Boat timeline
 What are the rudder and propeller of a boat?
 How are they important to floatation?
 How have their structures changed over time?
 Collect data in journal, label part on a boat diagram, draw picture

[[http://users.stargate.net/~pmathews/Image58.jpg]]

8. Buoyancy
 How much weight can your boat hold? Activity
 Will It Sink or Will It Float? Activity
 What is buoyancy?
 How is it important to floatation?
 Where else can we see it in the world?

[[http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/212_fall2009.web/green_amanda/Images/Buoyancy.jpg]]

9. Density
 How much weight can your boat hold? Activity
 Will It Sink or Will It Float? Activity
 What is density?
 How is it important to floatation?
 Where else can we see it in the world?
10. Volume
 How much weight can your boat hold? Activity
 Will It Sink or Will It Float? Activity
 What is volume?
 How is it important to floatation?
 Where else can we see it in the world?
11. Mass
 How much weight can your boat hold? Activity
 Will It Sink or Will It Float? Activity
 How is it important to floatation?
 Where else can we see it in the world?

[[http://www.chemistry-help.info/formula_of_density.gif]]

Integrative and Patterns Opportunities
• The density formula can be used to teach math
• The boat timeline can be used in a social studies lesson
• Building a boat is a bodily-kinesthetic activity
• Drawing a boat and labeling parts is a visual arts lesson
• Keeping a journal of information and formulas can be a literacy lesson
• Metapatterns can be identified when looking at pictures of boats and labeling parts
• Students will use basic shapes when building their boats

Assessment
• Take pictures of students in activities throughout unit and keep in portfolio
• Take pictures of finished projects
• Checklists of goals for each student in every activity, all kept in a folder
• Science fair at end of unit to present concepts learned
• Parent night for children to explain what they’ve learned
• Assess what they already know before the unit through KWL chart and asking questions
• Asses what they’ve learned after each activity through checklists and photographic documentation
• Keep a portfolio for each student of the entire unit, containing papers, photos, and any finished work

Implementation
a. Description: During “Explore Your World Day,” our activity allowed students to construct boats out of cardboard and foil, and to test out its floatation. We prepared a large container full of water, and provided multiple weights for children to measure how much weight their boats could carry before they sank. We asked what they thought was crucial to making a boat float. What did a boat need to stay above water? What made a boat float versus sink? Students tested the boats in the tub to see if they floated. If the boats did float weights were added to see how much they could carry. If the boats sank students were able to adapt or rebuild their boat and attempt to float it again.
b. Reflections and Critical Analysis: This lesson was effective because it was simple, it required few materials, and required getting “messy,” which captured the attention of our young audience. To make this lesson better, I would have provided more materials to build boats. That way, students could test which materials floated better, and which built boats that could hold more weight.
c. Recommendations for Future Implementation: To implement this in our unit, we would be discussing buoyancy and density, so the students could see these concepts in action. Students would experiment with the center of gravity when placing weights in their boats. If too much weight was on one side, the boat would sink. Students would see this and learn that the weight had to be distributed equally throughout the boat. If we received an older audience, we would have let them draw designs first, using rulers and compasses and protractors and any other materials they needed. We could have taken this further and built a life-size boat to test on a lake.

References:
http://powerboat.about.com/od/smallboatseamanship/tp/Parts-of-a-Boat.htm
http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/120Adensity.html
http://www.lessonplanspage.com/ScienceWillTheBoatSinkOrFloat4.htm

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