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.