We have been exploring money and counting it lately. JDaniel loves to count pennies so, I decided to tie counting pennies to a LEGO themed science activity I am calling Preschool Science- How Long will a LEGO Boat Float? My son isn’t in preschool anymore. (Although he wishes he had gotten to go to the kindergarten program at his old preschool. The day is shorter there for kindergartners.) I was trying to decide who the youngest children might be that would enjoy this activity and be safe with pennies and LEGOS and decided older preschoolers would be okay. I do think kids in preschool, K5 and older would probably actually like this experiment. That is how this post ended up with preschool science in its name.
Yes, I know that is probably a long way of explaining why we went about doing this preschool science experiment. I just thought I would tell you anyway.
Build a Boat
The first thing you have to do to for this science experiment is build a LEGO boat. We built an upside down pyramid boat with an Easter basket LEGO piece at its base. (Thank you Aunt Kate for giving JDaniel the kit that included the Easter basket. It gave us a great LEGO piece to work with.)
You can be a creative or as simple as you like when building your boat! Our boat leaned more toward the creative side of boat building.
Testing Your Boats Water Soundness
We then placed the boat into a saucepan filled 3/4 of the way up with water. Immediately the boat took on a little water. It didn’t sink, but took on water. I think that is going to be a given for any boat you create due fact that you can’t seal the cracks between the LEGOS and plan to use them again. Having a boat only filled with a little water was considered a successful boat by us.
If your boat sinks immediately or doesn’t ever float, you will want to try rebuilding the boat. We have overlapping bricks in our design. I think that helped.
Adding Pennies or Weigh to the Boat
Adding pennies a couple at a time to the boat proved to the most successful way for us to put pennies on our boat. By the time we had ten pennies in the boat had take on two row of bricks worth of water. It hadn’t gone down so, we continued.
When we had added a whole lot more pennies to the boat, it tipped to one side. Not just a little. It tipped a lot. Then we slowly watched the pennies fall in the water. How many pennies it take to tip it? It took about 25. How long did it float? About 15 minutes. That is the time it took us to put the pennies into the boat. We could have put a hole bunch in a once, but that wouldn’t be preschool science project. It wouldn’t be an any grade science project.
I hope you will try building a LEGO boat and trying to see when you add pennies to it how long it will float. If you do, here are two ways to share your creation with me. Link a picture of your creation to the post on my Facebook page sharing this post. Share your boat creation on Instagram and tag me (jdaniel4smom).
Preschool Science Disclaimer
Remember children of all age can try this experiment. I was thinking late preschool age children would be the youngest. Don’t let the title of this post stop you from trying it.