To continue the theme of beach science from the last few weeks, today let’s investigate something else found at the beach.



Children are fascinated by boats and floating. You can do a lot of interesting science projects with boats, starting with some basic questions: How can huge pieces of heavy metal float? How are boats propelled? Can you really make a boat out of paper?

We already have covered some floating and boat topics in previous posts.

Why Things Float contains some experiments on floating and sinking.

The How long can a paper boat float? challenge, with the early results for paper boats challenge.
The yellow legal pad boats lasted five days.


The Bathtub Buoyancy Challenge asked kids to find ways to propel boats across a bathtub without using their hands or electrical motors. The Bathtub Buoyancy results show several ways to propel toy boats.

It is always fun to build bathtub-sized boats. This video shows two handmade boats powered by battery packs and small electric motors that my son invented recently. A modified toy car powers the paddle boat; the air boat fan is a modified toy airplane propeller.

Why don’t you try inventing a boat?

For more ideas, try

A Simple Steam Boat at Curious Cat

Miniature Boats at HowStuffWorks

Hope you have fun and let us know what kind of boat you invent!

Edit: To check the rest of the posts on beach science, follow these links:

Sea Horses and Other Fish

Shore Birds

Tide Pool Invertebrates

Beach Science Algae

Beach Science-Sand

Beach Science-Seawater