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STEAM Activity Series - Sink or Float Experiment

Kids do love water, right? This interactive video from SciShow Kids teaches young kids the concept of buoyancy and density.


·       any objects such as a coin, rock, plastic toy, metal spoon, stick, etc.

·       water

·       big container or basin

·       a chart to tally which objects sink or float


·       Fill up the container with ¾ of water.

·       Have the kids drop each object on the container.

·       Let them guess which object sinks or floats.

·       Tally their answer on the chart.

Skills Developed:

·       Critical Thinking Skills

The activity encourages the children to think about why some objects float or sink.

·       Comparing

Kids will compare objects and notice patterns of why objects float or sink.

·       Vocabulary Building

Children will understand the terms sink, float, buoyancy, and density during the class discussion.

Learning moment

·       The physics of density

Density is one of these concepts that is everywhere and kids don't even realize it. In simple terms, it is the amount of "stuff" (i.e. molecules) that exists within a space/object. The more tiny molecules in an object, the heavier it is. That's why a small sphere made of lead is heavier than a same-size sphere of iron, for example. Using this concept in water, allowed us to create ships - massive structures made of very heavy materials... that is filled with air (thus not as dense as water, thus floating).

A bit more density here.

Written by Jennifer Lee

College of New Caledonia Student

Digital Content Creation Course

Professor Melanie Law

Edited by Nikolas Zetouni

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