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Juicy adventure

Topic: 6E Forces in action

22 year old Rhys and his Dad are sailing a tiny 12ft craft down all 4,000 miles of the Mississippi, the longest river in the US. Reinforcing the council's message of 'reduce, reuse, recycle', Rhys' boat is made from materials that are both sustainably sourced and recyclable. It consists of a wooden cabin encased in a hull made from the same material as orange juice cartons.

In this activity children will design a boat made of recyclable materials. They will consider the forces acting on a boat. Also they will argue how the adventure will help raise the issues of recycling.

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Juicy Adventure activity

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Juicy Adventure teacher notes


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· to describe the forces acting on an object

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 2 successfully

· to produce annotated drawings showing the direction in which forces are acting

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully

· to record forcemeter readings for objects suspended in air and water, identify that the reading is less in water than in air and explain that this is because the upward push of the water cancels out some of the weight or ‘pull down from gravity'

Children will demonstrate this by completing the practical activity

Curriculum Link

QCA Unit 6E: Forces in action
· that several forces may act on one object
· to represent the direction of forces by arrows
· that when an object is submerged in water, the water provides an upward force (upthrust) on it

Scientific enquiry
· consider what sources of information they will use to answer questions
Year 6 - Presentation
· Select from a wide range of ICT programs to present text effectively and communicate information and ideas

Year 6 -
· Construct and interpret frequency tables, bar charts with grouped discrete data, and line graphs.

Running the Activity

Introducing the activity
· Display Page 1 through a projector or as an OHT. Children could come to front and read text, acting the part of Rhys and his Dad and the American man on the bank. Discuss what the images are showing.

Discussion questions:
Why doesn't the boat sink?
What forces do you think are acting on it?
Does gravity act in water?

Leading the main activity

· Display Page 2 through a projector or as an OHT. Print off copies for the children as appropriate.

· Display Page 3 through a projector or as an OHT. Print out copies for the children.
Children to work in pairs to design a boat made from recycled materials explaining what materials they have used and why. Need to consider the properties of the materials to ensure that they will be suitable e.g. will they float, are they waterproof, are they recyclable, are they rigid or robust enough for purpose etc.

· Display Page 4 through a projector or as an OHT. Print out copies for the children as appropriate. They will create a Forces Poster in which they show themselves sailing down the river in their boat.
Children to draw as many forces as they can. For example a man could be pushing his baby in its pram along the river bank etc.
They must use an arrow to show the direction of the force and label the type of force.

Web Links

News story behind the activity

Daily Echo
News story behind the activity

Diagrams and information explaining upthrust

Boat Safe
Information about how a boat floats

Why do boats float and rocks sink?

How Stuff Works
How steel boats float when a bar of steel sinks

BBC Bitesize
Interactive games on Forces in action

Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab
Why boats float and elephants sink

Physical Processes
Interactive animations about forces

How Things Work.Virginia.edu
Detailed explanation of how we float

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