I'm not sure what it is about water, but kids seem to love a project that involves getting wet! In this project, students learned about buoyancy by designing their own boats.
They learned that boats float because their weight is equal to the pressure from the liquid beneath them. We first experimented with objects to see what would float in a small amount of water. Then we added more water to see whether or not it changed their ability to float.
They were thrilled when I got out my plastic baby pool and tube. The tube was tricky to set up with the hose. Unfortunately, I had to be stationary to monitor the water coming from the hose, but I still got to record their fun through photos.
I recommend finding different types of pipes and gutters to encourage them to design their boats to float and move with an intended direction. Open gutters are better than closed pipes so that the kids can see their boats move.
I also recommend showing them how to wrap a rubber band around the sticks before they start too so that they don't become discouraged by this skill.
I encouraged the kids to share their ideas with each other. If someone had a design that another person liked, I told them to be a teacher and show them how they did it. That might have been my favorite part of the process to observe. Kids helping other kids by explaining their ideas.