Foil Boat Directions

How Do Ships Float?

Design Using the Engineering Design Process

The Engineering Design Process helps us figure out problems and solve them like engineers. Today you will use this process to create a boat that will hold the most pennies. 

  • What is my problem? Design and build a boat that can hold the most pennies
  • What are my constraints? You can only use one 5×5-inch piece of aluminum foil. 
  • Brainstorm some solutions to your problem. 
  • Do some research with your team if needed.
  • Draw out your ideas on a piece of paper. Don’t forget to check the materials list below to include anything you might need. 
  • Materials List:
    • One 5×5-inch piece of aluminum foil. 
  • Use your plan to create your project.
  • Test how strong your boat is by placing in pennies one at a time.
  • Each time your boat sinks, be sure to take note of the boat’s strengths and weakness for future adjustment.
  • Think about what you would do to improve it (make it better) and share with your group.
  • Ask them for their feedback too and reflect on how you can improve your structure.
  • You will go through the process again and rebuild your boat using the feedback from your group and your own observations.
  • Consider the questions below when testing your boat again:
  1. How did the placement of your pennies affect your boat?
  2. What happens when you spread out the pennies versus put them in a pile?
  3. Do you think that changes how long it takes your boat to sink?
  4. Try the experiment again and place the pennies in different places, what is the best way to put them in the boat?