The Properties of Water
Sink or Float
Help your kids take their first step to finding water on other worlds by helping them understand the basic properties of water.
With the assistance of two Adler visitors, we determine the buoyancy of a selection of household items. You can perform this experiment with friends and family. What is the outcome? Will it sink like a stone or float like a boat? Share your findings with us!
Ask questions! Learning through inquiry provides children with opportunity to construct the understanding necessary to produce deeper learning by investigating to find answers to questions.
Read more about inquiry-based learning in our blog post, Inquiry: How We Come To Know.
Experiment with Neutral Buoyancy
Deep Sea Diver Activity
Can you think of items that don't float on the water, and don't sink to the bottom? In what situations could neutral buoyancy be useful?
Neutral Buoyancy describes something that has an equal tendency to float as it does sink. NASA astronauts are lowered into a 40-foot deep pool in its Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory to simulate the experience of conducting experiments and mechanical fixes in a zero-gravity environment.
Let's Do Science!
The whole family can have fun with science. Go ahead and encourage your child to be curious and ask questions. Start experimenting today.
What You'll Need
- Metal Washers
- Paper Clips
- Hot Glue Gun
- Container (at least 6 in. x 6 in.) that can hold water.
Design and Build
- Bend a straw into a "U" shape.
- Cut ends so they're even.
- Thread washer onto straw.
- Pinch ends of straw together and secure with hot glue.
- Adjust weight by adding/removing paper clips.
- Place diver into a container of water and test its buoyancy.
- Keep adding or removing paper clips until the diver "hovers" in the center of the water.
- Was it difficult to achieve neutral buoyancy? Why or why not?