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Boats and Balance


Grades: 3 - 5

By building their own model sail boats, students investigate design and energy needed to move across the 40' x 20' Water Works pool. After becoming familiar with the boat names, students are given a variety of sizes for each part of the boats. They are encouraged to experiment with changing parts to see how they affect the performance of their boat. By keeping data in a class chart, students discover the importance of balance in sailing.

General Outline of Program:
- Welcome to the Big Lab and an introduction to observation
- Discuss the parts of a sailboat and how to construct the model boats
- Experiment with model sailboat parts in Water Works pool
-Track class data for what combination of parts helped the boats to float
- Sailboat races

California State Science Standards related to program:
3rd Grade

Physical Sciences: 1.b, 1.c, 1.d
Investigation and Experimentation: 5.a, 5.b, 5.c, 5.d

4th Grade
Investigation and Experimentation: 6.a, 6.b, 6.c, 6.d, 6.e

5th Grade
Investigation and Experimentation: 6.a, 6.b, 6.d, 6.e, 6.f, 6.g


Find How Big the Big Lab's Water Works Pool Is

Wind Power


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Big Lab Field Trips | Where's the Air? | Ladybugs
Boats and Balance | Erosion | Roller coasters
Cow Eye Dissection

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