Predictions, Observations and Explanations

Room 11 had fun making a simple boat structure. They followed  sequenced instructions and used simple materials. 

hull  - something that floats - pool noodle, ice block sticks

mast - something straight - straw, pencil, straightened paper clip, tooth picks

sail - something light - paper, aluminium foil, foam 



They decided how many sails everyone would have and what shape the sails would be and drew  a model of the boat and labelled the different parts. The boats were tested on the water by applying a force, either a push or a pull, to see how boats move on water. Objects used to apply a force included string, straws, balloon pumps, and whiteboards.

But that is not where it ended …

Room 11 students were extended by designing their own STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) challenge: Build a boat that was faster than their simple boat structure.

The construction process provided opportunity for their creativity and problem solving skills to develop. This activity also provided the opportunity for them to work  together as they built  their boats. It was great to observe them developing cooperation, patience, and friendships.

Another important part of their learning was to develop the skills of science through observation, communication, classification, measurement, inference, and prediction.  These skills were integrated when the students designed and carried out their STEM challenge.

I predict Frankie’s boat will get to the end first because it looks like a real boat. I saw people flapping whiteboards to make wind to make the boats move. Wind is a force because it pushes on objects. I think Sam’s boat sank because it had toothpicks on the bottom. The toothpicks slowed the boat down.  by Thea

I predict that Sam’s boat will not win because it has paper on top of it. I saw that Sam’s boat rolled halfway over. I think Sam’s boat did not move because it has toothpicks on the bottom. The toothpicks made too much friction.  by Frankie

I think that my boat did not do much at all because it had too much paper. The paper was too big so my boat did not get to the end quickly. The friction from the water and the paper made my boat slow.  by Kase

I predict that my boat will float over the water. I think my boat looks the coolest. I saw some boats not move much at all. My boat stopped in the middle of the water. I think that my boat lost because it was too heavy. It stopped in the middle of the sea. To get to the end my boat will need to be a lot lighter and smaller.  by Sam

The students in Room 11 were actively involved in the science they were learning and were able to achieve a deep understanding of the science content. They were keen to share their new knowledge  to the rest of the school during our Celebration of Learning day.


Keywords: science skills, creativity, problem solving, cooperation