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Penny Raft STEAM Activity

By: Tina Shaffer

How many pennies can your boat hold? For this STEAM activity, kids will build a device out of straws, tin foil and masking tape that can float in water and hold as many pennies as possible without sinking. Kids will learn about buoyancy and the engineering design process with this fun and simple challenge. If you have more than one kid, have them try this activity together to help build their teamwork skills.

Challenge: Using the materials below, build a device that can float in water and hold as many pennies as possible without sinking.

Setup: Fill a small tub/bucket with water.

Materials: 6 straws, 1 8”x8” piece of aluminum foil, 8 inches of masking tape, small tub or bucket, pennies

Time: 10 minutes

Reflection Questions:
1. What was the hardest part of this challenge?
2. What was most fun about this challenge?
3. If you could use other types of materials to build your boat, what would you use?
4. Try this challenge again using different types of coins. How many other types of coins (quarters, dimes, etc.) can your boat hold before sinking?