What is Force?

 Foil Barge
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Learning Goal(s):

Students will identify the Laws of Motion and learn about the forces acting on the system. There are multiple forces acting on a boat, some of these forces include, acceleration, friction, gravity and thrust.

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Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 30 min

Students will build a barge out of tin foil and describe the forces acting it. The barge itself is designed only with the constraints that passengers within the barge will not get wet, allowing for students to experiment with different shapes and densities as they construct their boats. This simple design challenge has a competition built within it to allow for students to make direct observations of components of their peers’ boats that led to success in the actual testing phase. Through the development of these boats, they will discuss Isaac’s Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion and that different forces act on objects. This lesson sets the stage for solar boat building in the next few lessons.

Other Material(s) Used:
Aluminum foil, marbles, large tub or basin