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Competitive Science in Grade 8 Examines Study of Buoyancy
  • Middle School
  • Science

Middle School Science Teacher Alex Randhava's Grade 8 classes examined the forces that produce buoyancy through their study of the interaction of volume, mass, and density. In their study of the buoyant force, students enjoyed some friendly competition by playing a science game to demonstrate what they know. They built boats that must sink when loaded with 500 grams of cargo. The problem was made more difficult because students floated them in water that has the salinity, and density, of the Dead Sea - 1.24 g/ml. The density of the fluid, the mass and displacement of the boat, the position of the waterline, and basic elements of craftsmanship are all factors that determine success or failure. Four teams of Grade 8 students came within five grams of the goal - precise within 1% of the target mass!