SaH: Building Boats

Put your engineering skills to the test! In this experiment, you will be able to build, test, and rebuild a boat to find the design that floats the best with extra added weight. Share a video and pictures of your boat in action in the comments!



How many pennies can your boat hold before sinking?



  • Several pennies or other small objects of the same shape and size
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large bowl or tub
  • Water


What to Do

  1. Get a piece of aluminum foil. Fold and shape it to look like a boat or something that can hold pennies.
  2. Once your boat is built, place it in your large bin filled with water. Make sure it is able to float before you continue.
  3. Place the pennies into the boat one by one and count how many your boat can hold before it begins to fill with water and sink.
  4. Use another piece of foil and make a new design. Can this boat hold more pennies?


What is Happening?

This activity allows for experimentation trials, redesign, and retesting. Use trial and error to figure out what the best boat design looks like. Try doing some research online to look up ideas for your next design!

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