Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sink or Float?

I realized I really haven't been doing many crafts and such with Zack this summer. We've done some running around and some organized activities, but at home we've mostly been doing chores; so, this week we picked out some projects. At the top of our list was an experiment: what sinks and what floats?

We wrote a list of things we wanted to try the night before, along with a hypothesis about whether it would sink or float. Then we gathered up a bunch of items and gave them a try. It was a little messy and pretty fun. My ideas of stuff to try were things like a metal washer, a leaf, a piece of cork, cottonballs; Zack's ideas were more like "a chunk of peanut butter".

It was fun to talk about what makes us decide something will sink or float. Well, what was fun was my thinking I was doing some science instructing. No, no, I kept my inner science lecturer under wraps and we just played around. Well, played around and discussed the meaning of "density".

[After seeing these photos at molly irwin, I was inspired to try the photo format. Aren't I such a big copy-catter? Hey, it's an accepted scrapbooking practice, really.]


  1. That sounds like a fun project... some things are hard to guess I bet. I'll be curious to hear what else was on your list!

  2. Another spin on this is to take liquids of two densities, like water and olive oil, and see if you can find something that sinks in the less dense and floats in the other.

  3. Way fun! I love these ideas!

    I also love the photo look- did you do it with Picasa? You know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

  4. Bill - yes, even James and I were incorrect about a few things. We did Ice, paper, crayon, plastic cup, rock, lava rock, foil, cork, sponge, etc!
    When it rains really hard our lava rocks float from one section of the path to another, so we thought it would float. It did - for about 45 seconds. Then it sank!

    Sadia - we did do juice and oil, but Zack couldn't really distinguish that the oil formed droplets that floated. We'll have to do it again sometime.

    Julie - Exactly!
    Yes, I did it on "picture pile" in Picasa.