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boat design project


									         GRADE 3 FORCES PROJECT: Build a Boat!

Our Science unit on Forces will include designing, building, testing and presenting a
floating boat that carries a load of 100g and moves by way of a force (wind,
magnetism, propeller of stored energy, etc.). I ask that the students bring in
materials from home that may be useful in building a boat. If you could set aside a
box at home, to drop potentially useful things into, your child can bring in the whole
box next week. Anything they don’t decide to use may be desirable to another
builder. Plus, the box will help contain everyone’s building materials nicely. The boat
will be constructed at school, in class during the weeks of January 16th and 23rd.
Parents may help students plan the boat at home but all construction and design work
must be done at school. I encourage a home-school learning connection, but the
materials should come to school unassembled and nothing pre-cut or pre-fabricated.
Students will do this in class. The boat can be built with everyday household items
such as: yogurt, margarine, juice containers, lego, plastic bags, paperclips, tinfoil,

The boat needs to be able to hold a load of cargo and should be made out of at least
three different materials. The activity is based on specific expectation in the science
and technology curriculum, which states; identify forces as pushes and pulls, identify
different forms of energy and suggest how they might be used to provide power to
devices and create movement, record observations, findings, and measurements in
writing, drawings, and through oral presentations, use technological problem-solving
skills, and knowledge acquired from previous investigations, to design, build, and test
a structure that involves interactions of forces and movement.

Please note that I will extract several assessment pieces from the assignment.
These assessment components will stem from the project:
1) Students will reflect, based on the testing of the boat, how they might make
changes. (oral & written assessment, conference with the teacher)
2) They will make an oral presentation to the class describing and explaining the
construction of the boat. (oral assessment)
3) They will test the boats by loading them down with weights such as pennies or a
mass of 100g or a figure of comparable weight. (science assessment, principles and
concepts of forces)
Rubric                D                     C                     B                      A
Design and build an   Displays a limited    Displays some         Displays a             Displays a high
object that is        degree of the         degree of the         considerable           degree of the
buoyant and is able   required skills and   required skills and   degree of the          required skills and
to support            strategies to build   strategies to build   required skills and    strategies to build
different amounts     a boat that is        a boat that is        strategies to build    a boat that is
of mass as it is      buoyant, moves and    buoyant, moves and    a boat that is         buoyant, moves and
moved by a force.     holds a given mass.   holds a given mass.   buoyant, moves and     holds a given mass.
                                                                  holds a given mass.
Devise and Explain    Plans and labels      Plans and labels      Plans and labels       Plans and labels
                      boat with a limited   boat with some        boat with a            boat with a high
                      degree of             degree of             considerable           degree of
                      completeness,         completeness,         degree of              completeness,
                      precision and         precision and         completeness,          precision and
                      explanation. No       explanation.          precision and          explanation.
                      apparent              Modifications         explanation.           Modifications
                      alterations/          limited.              Modifications well     clearly explained
                      modifications made                          explained and          and executed to
                      to original plan.                           executed to            improve success.
                                                                  improve success.       Are creative and
                       With prompts         With prompts           Without prompts       Without prompts
Identify materials    Identifies few or     Identifies some of    Identifies most of     Identifies all of
                      none of the           the materials and     the materials and      the materials and
                      materials and tools   tools used. Some      tools used. General    tools used. Fully
                      used. Cannot tell     accuracy in           accuracy in            accurate in
                      how they are          explanation of        explanation of         explanation of
                      useful.               their use.            their use.             their use.
Communication &       Unclearly              Somewhat clearly     Mostly clearly and     Very clearly and
Relation to world     identifies and        & completely          fully identifies and   fully identifies and
outside school        explains the          identifies and        explains the           explains the
                      connections           explains the          connections            connections
                      between how           connections           between how            between how
                      forces act on their   between how           forces act on their    forces act on their
                      boat to cause         forces act on their   boat to cause          boat to cause
                      movement and how      boat to cause         movement and how       movement and how
                      well their design     movement and how      well their design      well their design
                      worked.               well their design     worked.                worked.

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