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What is the science behind making a boat sail? Invite students to design a sail shape that works best in a classroom experiment.
What makes a sailboat move forward? How is the wind captured and why does that work? Ask students to look at photographs of sailing ships and discuss the design of the sail shapes they are viewing. Use Crayola Dry Erase Markers to draw sail shapes on a classroom white board.
Provide Crayola® Pointed Scissors and various recycled materials for students to use in creating sails; have each enveloped in fabric. Try triangular, rounded and square shapes. Remind children that they need to balance the size of sail vs. size of boat’s base so the boat does not tip over when the wind fills the sail.
Invite students to decorate sails using Crayola® Color Sticks™ or Colored Pencils. Suggest they run a bead of Crayola® No-Run School Glue down inside edge of sail and roll around a thin skewer (or chopstick) to create the mast. While the glue is drying, cut strips of duct tape and secure four corks together with the tape to form the boat’s hull (base).
Provide each student (or group)with a cork base. Demonstrate how to poke the sail’s mast (skewer with sail) into the cork base.
Next, students will test designs in a basin filled about half way with water. Suggest the use of a fan or hair dryer to generate some gales of wind. Encourage a discussion of why the sailboat does or does not balance in the water. What adaptations may need to be made in student designs?
Provide time in the schedule for students (or groups) to demonstrate their models. Each group or individual should be prepared to share insight into how their sailboats were created and why specific design decisions were made. Students should also include any trials made that resulted in an adaptation to their models.
Display student sailboats in the classroom to promote further discussion.
Design an optical illusion! Discover a scientific principle called the Moiré Effect. Trick your eyes and brain with line
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