Peep Boat Engineering Challenge
We’re ringing in spring which means those marshmallow bunnies and chicks are popping up everywhere. But you can do much more with Peeps than simply eat them. You can use them as building materials to explore buoyancy. This experiment is a fun way to explore engineering – if you don’t eat all the marshmallows!
- Peeps – Bunnies or Chicks
- Popsicle sticks
- String or yarn
- Egg cartons
- Any other items that might make good boat building materials
- Water in a container
- Examine your materials and investigate the properties of each
- Peeps should make the base of the boat – begin to attach them to each other using any materials you chose – Which materials will work best?
- Keep building until your boat is complete – the design is up to you!
- Now it’s time to test the boat. Place it in a sink full of water and see what happens.
- Does it float, topple, bob or sink?
- Remove the boat from the water and evaluate the design. What can be changed to improve the boat’s ability to float?
- Peeps will begin to disintegrate in the water – what happens to the boat then?
This experiment explores the concept of buoyancy, which is the tendency of an object to float on top of or rise in a liquid. Buoyancy is determined by an object’s mass and volume, which is density. If the boat floated, then it is less dense than the water being pushed aside in the container. If the boat didn’t float what could be the reason? Test different boat designs until you find the ideal way to create a Peep boat.
Photo source: https://www.schoolingamonkey.com/peeps-boat-engineering/