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Sesame Street

Build a Boat!

Engineer a boat to make a rock float just like Elmo, Zoe, and Leela did for Rocco.


  • Sheet of Aluminum Foil
  • Pencils
  • Tape
  • Small Rock
  • Large container filled with water


  1. Predict what will happen when you drop the rock in the container of water, and then try it. Talk about what it means when something sinks.
  2. Predict what will happen when you drop a pencil and a piece of aluminum foil into the container of water, and then try it. Talk about what it means when something floats.
  3. Try placing the rock on top of the aluminum foil and observe what happens.
  4. Try placing the rock on top of the pencil and observe what happens.
  5. Using the aluminum foil and the pencils, experiment and engineer a boat that will support the rock.

Talk About It

Ask your child to describe what happened when she tried using only the aluminum foil or only the pencils to make the rock float. Then have her explain how she designed a boat. What are some other materials that you could use to make a boat?

Take It Further

Try the same experiment with slightly larger rocks. What changes do you need to make to the boat to keep the rock afloat?

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