Floating and Sinking: Everyday Science in Middle School - paper presented at AARE conference, 2004. Good background information for teachers (pdf, 259kb)

Teaching Ideas and Lesson plans

Will it Float? - from Surfing Scientist, ABC. Will it float is a surprisingly contagious, fascinating and fun game you can play everyday. Test whether mystery items sink or float daily over a week, fortnight or month in an aquarium or clear plastic tub. Use it as part of a unit on floating and sinking, or simply as a fun motivational activity. (pdf, 238 kb)

Floating and sinking - from Resources - Science and Environmental Education, School of Education, Deakin University. Floating and sinking is a common activity in early years classrooms. Students' ideas about floating and sinking are intriguing. The strategies for developing their understandings discussed in this topic are examples of the probing, investigative and challenging activities that characterise effective science teaching and learning.

Sink or Float? - lesson plan from Science NetLinks

Floating and Sinking - lesson plan from One Potato, Two Potato, BBC North Ireland Learning (pdf, 66kb)



Sinking and Floating - a series of resources and videos with background essays and discussion questions from Teachers' Domain

A Boat That Floats - short video from Teachers' Domain. In this video from Curious George, watch as three children build boats using everyday materials, including a pie tin, straws, a cup, and paper towel tubes. After they have each constructed a boat of their own design, the children make predictions as to whether it will float or sink. Then, they test their boats in a backyard wading pool and discover that only the boat made using a pie tin is water-worthy.

Density and Buoyancy: Experimenting with Club Soda - short video from Teachers' Domain. Watch as a raisin dances in a cup of club soda, rising and falling in the liquid medium, in this video segment adapted from ZOOM. Look closely, and you'll learn that the cause of this phenomenon is the tiny gas-filled bubbles that attach -- and then detach -- from the raisin, thereby affecting the buoyancy of the raisin.

Density and Buoyancy: Testing Liquids - short video from Teachers' Domain. People rarely think about a fluid (a liquid or gas) floating or sinking in another fluid. But, like solid objects, fluids can and do float and sink, and they do so according to the same rules that govern the buoyancy of solid objects. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members test the buoyancy of three liquids and a variety of solid objects.

Interactive Multimedia

Part 2: Float and Sink - from Nash's Adventures 5 - 7 years, BBC

Interactive Whiteboard Software

Floating and Sinking - from National Grid for Learning Cymru, Wales. This activity recreates an experiment that can be difficult to carry out in the classroom because of the expense and mess. Pupils test the sinking time of a ball in measuring cylinders of familiar but different liquids. They then graph their results and use them to predict in a new but related situation. In the national curriculum, pupils are expected to be able to compare materials to assess their similarities and differences, and to categorise them by their properties.


Other KLAs

Bath time with Archimedes - Graphing activity, from Maths Online. This simulation involves changing variables by selecting the strength of the water flow into the bath, turning the tap on or off, putting the plug in and out, and telling Archimedes to get in and out of the bath. It has also been successfully used in Year 6 Science lessons to provide an opportunity to carry out experiments with several variables and interpret the data produced.

Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Schools Prize - Eureka, from ABC

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