Annie’s STEM Lab: Sink or Float

by Annie Savinon

Welcome to Annie’s STEM Lab! I hope you had a very restful and enjoyable holiday season. This month is a great time to complete some simple and fun science experiments at home. Below is a fun experiment you can put together with objects you already have at home, while answering, will it sink or float? 

We all know that objects either sink or float. But your little one might ask, what makes an object sink or float? When an object can float, it has buoyancy. Buoyancy is the ability to float in water. An article from Britannica explains, if the object in water displaces an amount of water equal to its own weight, the buoyant force acting on it will be equal to gravity, and the object will float! 

A sink or float activity is a wonderful experiment to do with your little ones at home because it promotes scientific thinking, such as cause and effect, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation, and evaluation. The Global Montessori Network also shares that this experiment can aid in better-developing order, concentration, coordination, and independence skills! Also, this is a wonderful activity for Kindergarten teachers to complete for their students to understand NGSSK-2-ETS1-3, Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs

Time to experiment! 

A tray with objects on it

Description automatically generatedThis lesson will be best with a 3–6-year-old, under the guidance of a caretaker. To begin, you will need to gather a few items.  

This includes: 

-Large plastic bin filled with water 

-Prepare two signs: Sink or Float  

-Gather some objects around the home that can get wet!  

Now that you have your set up complete, it is time to run our tests and ask the question, does it sink or float? After you test an item, place it in the sink or float category. Throughout this process, be sure to answer any questions your little one might have, and reflect on your results together, and talk about why the objects either floated or sunk! 

Field trips are back! Please be aware that it will be busier than usual.