Intro to Physics: Make Your Own Seaworthy STEAM Boat

Here's a fun activity that will blow you away. Our sailboat model is the perfect opportunity to learn about materials, buoyancy and wind power. Your task is to make your cardboard sailboat able to float and waterproof. Then, your task is to determine how to make your boat fast enough to win the race.

1. Build your boat. If your plan on doing lots of experimenting, you may want grab an old cardboard box and trace the pieces in your set onto the cardboard so you have an endless supply of parts. (don't worry, if you run out of cardboard, head over to the local grocery store, they will have plenty to spare).

Don't have the bot yet? No worries...



diy sailboat with cardboard and 3d printed connectors

2. Now that you've got your boat, think about what makes things float, what makes things waterproof. What materials around the house might make lock in the air in the cardboard and lock out water? 

Good idea, give it a go...

3. Now try it out. If it works, try adding a sailor to your boat. Keep adding stuff to see how much weight it can hold before it sinks.

4. Now it's time to think about speed. For this part. you'll need

1. a body of water (long and shallow tray works well),

2. a fan (please use a battery operated fan. It is much safer)

3. string

4. tape

5. timer

6. an ADULT: Remember that water and electrical cords can be very dangerous so please use a battery operated fan. We want you to be as smart as Einstein but necessarily look like him

albert einstein

here's the setup: Make sure the fan is a safe distance away from the waterDIY sailboat race 


Now you're ready for Race Day. Put your fan on. Place your boat at end of the water closest to the fan, and test how long it takes your boat to get to the other end of the container. Try the sail in different orientations and retest.  What did you discover? This is a great opportunity to talk about wind power and how it works.

You can also try putting your sailor on the boat and discuss what that does to the speed of the boat and why. 

Be sure to send us some photos or video. If we add it to the website, we'll send you a gift!

diy sailboat by 3dux/design to teach about buoyancy and wind power







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stem with friends remote playdates

3DuxDesign wants to help keep kids connected. let us host a STEM With Friends Remote Playdate. Send each friend a kit and we will schedule a free design/build activity for you  and 5-10 of your besties  

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