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Above-Ground Storage Tank Design Project
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At this point in the unit, students have learned about Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's principle, and why above-ground storage tanks are of major concern in the Houston Ship Channel and other coastal areas. In this culminating activity, student groups act as engineering design teams to derive equations to determine the stability of specific above-ground storage tank scenarios with given tank specifications and liquid contents. With their floatation analyses completed and the stability determined, students analyze the tank stability in specific storm conditions. Then, teams are challenged to come up with improved storage tank designs to make them less vulnerable to uplift, displacement and buckling in storm conditions. Teams present their analyses and design ideas in short class presentations.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington
Mila Taylor
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Above-Ground Storage Tanks in the Houston Ship Channel
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Students are provided with an introduction to above-ground storage tanks, specifically how and why they are used in the Houston Ship Channel. The introduction includes many photographic examples of petrochemical tank failures during major storms and describes the consequences in environmental pollution and costs to disrupted businesses and lives, as well as the lack of safety codes and provisions to better secure the tanks in coastal regions regularly visited by hurricanes. Students learn how the concepts of Archimedes' principle and Pascal's law act out in the form of the uplifting and buckling seen in the damaged and destroyed tanks, which sets the stage for the real-world engineering challenge presented in the associated activity to design new and/or improved storage tanks that can survive storm conditions.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington
Mila Taylor
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Archimedes' Principle, Pascal's Law and Bernoulli's Principle
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Students are introduced to Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle and Bernoulli's principle. Fundamental definitions, equations, practice problems and engineering applications are supplied. A PowerPoint® presentation, practice problems and grading rubric are provided.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington
Mila Taylor
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Balloons
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Students follow the steps of the engineering design process as they design and construct balloons for aerial surveillance. After their first attempts to create balloons, they are given the associated Estimating Buoyancy lesson to learn about volume, buoyancy and density to help them iterate more successful balloon designs.Applying their newfound knowledge, the young engineers build and test balloons that fly carrying small flip cameras that capture aerial images of their school. Students use the aerial footage to draw maps and estimate areas.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Marissa H. Forbes
Mike Soltys
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Buoyancy
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CC BY
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When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Jonathan Olson
Kathy Perkins
Kelly Lancaster
Noah Podolefsky
Sam Reid
Trish Loeblein
Wendy Adams
Date Added:
09/30/2010
Buoyancy (AR)
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
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When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Jonathan Olson
Kathy Perkins
Kelly Lancaster
Noah Podolefsky
Patricia Loblein
Sam Reid
Wendy Adams
Date Added:
10/01/2010
Buoyancy Basics
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This illustrated demonstration from the NOVA Web site explains the concepts of buoyancy and density by showing what happens when different kinds of wood blocks are dropped in water.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004
Buoyancy & Boats (4th - 5th Grade) Five Lesson Unit
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-SA
Rating

This unit consists of five lessons covering buoyancy and engineering boats. Each lesson includes goals, anticipatory set, learner objectives, guided practice, procedure instructions, closing activities, and extensions. Student handouts and worksheets are also included.

Lesson 1: Intro to Buoyancy
Lesson 2: Engineer a Barge
Lesson 3: Intro to Sails & Motion
Lesson 4: Engineer a Sailboat
Lesson 5: Final Vessel

NGSS: 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-3

Lesson 1 materials: empty 2-liter bottles with tops cut off, pennies or other coins, marble, modeling clay, crap wood, rocks, pingpong ball, golf ball, popsicle stick, paper clip, scale, other object for floating or sinking
Lesson 2 materials: for each student - 12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil, 4 popsicle sticks, 2 straws, 12" masking tape; teacher pre-setup - enough pennies for testing (500 pennies per group), pool filled 2/3 with water
Lesson 3 materials: string/yarn, 1/2 straw for each student, 2 different types of paper (tissue & white copy paper), tape, scissors, fan, wooden skewers, 2 popsicle sticks per student, rulers, protractors, stencils.
Lesson 4 materials: 8 popsicle sticks, 1 wooden skewer, 1 straw, masking tape or duct tape, tissue paper or copy paper
Lesson 5 materials: same as Lesson 2

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Author:
Columbia Gorge STEM Hub
Date Added:
08/13/2020
Buoyancy Brainteasers: Balloon-in-Car Puzzler
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This interactive brainteaser from the NOVA Web site challenges you to explain the behavior of a helium-filled balloon in a moving car.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004
Buoyancy Brainteasers: Boat-in-Pool Puzzler
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This interactive brainteaser from the NOVA Web site challenges you to figure out what happens to the water level when a rock is resting in a boat and when it is submerged in water.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004
Buoyancy Brainteasers: Buoyancy Question
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This interactive brainteaser from the NOVA Web site challenges you to figure out what causes an object to sink.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004
Buoyant Boats
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Educational Use
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Students conduct a simple experiment to see how the water level changes in a beaker when a lump of clay sinks in the water and when the same lump of clay is shaped into a bowl that floats in the water. They notice that the floating clay displaces more water than the sinking clay does, perhaps a surprising result. Then they determine the mass of water that is displaced when the clay floats in the water. A comparison of this mass to the mass of the clay itself reveals that they are approximately the same.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Mary R. Hebrank
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Cartesian Diver
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Students observe Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle and the ideal gas law as a Cartesian diver moves within a closed system. The Cartesian diver is neutrally buoyant and begins to sink when an external pressure is applied to the closed system. A basic explanation and proof of this process is provided in this activity, and supplementary ideas for more extensive demonstrations and independent group activities are presented.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Emily Sappington
Mila Taylor
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Cartesian Diver
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

This activity has students create a Cartesian diver, which will act in some ways like a submarine. Students will adjust the amount of air and water in an inverted test tube (the "diver") so that it at first barely floats in a water-filled bottle. Then, they will squeeze the closed bottle to create higher water pressure, causing the diver to sink. Releasing the bottle allows the diver to float again. Written instructions, a list of materials, and illustrations are included.

Subject:
Hydrology
Oceanography
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Colorado State University
NASA
Date Added:
06/08/2001
Clay Boats
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Students use a small quantity of modeling clay to make boats that float in a tub of water. The object is to build boats that hold as much weight as possible without sinking. In the process of designing and testing their prototype creations, students discover some of the basic principles of boat design, gain first-hand experience with concepts such as buoyancy and density, and experience the steps of the engineering design process.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Mary R. Hebrank
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Common Misconceptions about Icebergs and Glaciers
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-SA
Rating

This article describes some common misconceptions that elementary students may have about icebergs and glaciers (including density and buoyancy). It also includes suggestions for formative assessment and teaching for conceptual change.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
Provider Set:
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: An Online Magazine for K-5 Teachers
Author:
Jessica Fries-Gaither
Date Added:
10/17/2014
Density
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Why do objects like wood float in water? Does it depend on size? Create a custom object to explore the effects of mass and volume on density. Can you discover the relationship? Use the scale to measure the mass of an object, then hold the object under water to measure its volume. Can you identify all the mystery objects?

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Jonathan Olson
Kathy Perkins
Kelly Lancaster
Noah Podolefsky
Sam Reid
Trish Loeblein
Wendy Adams
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Density and Buoyancy: Making Eggs Float
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Why does an egg float in salt water? Learn about density and buoyancy in this video segment adapted from ZOOM.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004