# Buoyancy Experiment

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The more I homeschool, the more I realize I DON’T know everything.

*sigh*

When I first saw this Buoyancy Experiment, I thought to myself…that will NEVER work!

I had my doubts a chip bag could float with the weight of 100 pennies.

Yes, I was sure I knew more than the scientist who put this together.

So, who was right?

Let’s try the Chip Ship Experiment from Potato Chip Science by Allen Kurzweil {and find out if Allen knows a little more about buoyancy than me}.

## Sink or Float?

Or as I like to call it…

## It will NEVER float!

Materials

• 100 pennies
• chip bag
• bucket of water
• lid that fits into chip bag and will keep it open

Note:  The instructions say you may use a single serving chip bag and a smaller lid, but this is what I found at my house. I was forced to eat the last few pita chips.

### Instructions

1. Load the pennies into the empty chip bag “boat” making sure they are evenly distributed.

2. Gently lower your penny-laden “boat” into a bucket with at least 5 inches of water and watch what happens.

3. If your “boat” sank, then take it out of the water and add the lid on top of the pennies so that it keeps the bag in an open position.

4. Gently set the “boat” on the water again.

Yep, the “boat” floats despite the 100 penny cargo!

Why does this happen? Positioning a lid on top of the pennies broadens the hull of your chip ship, which increases the volume inside the vessel and the amount of water displaced outside. The pennies at the bottom of the chip ship also serve as ballast–weight that improves stability. This is how a cargo ship filled with a very heavy load can stay afloat.

Oh, and I might mention that I was wrong…shhhhh!

Kids Activities Blog is Holly's blogging home.

She is the mom of three boys ages 7, 10 and 12 who partially homeschools. She believes that you shouldn't have to buy stuff to have fun when there is a kitchen junk drawer full of possibilities.

She can also be found at Business 2 Blogger, on Twitter as @QuirkyMommaSite or @Texasholly, but her favorite place to hang out is on Google +.

From our partners:

1. Oooh brilliant! We can’t always be right!

2. This rocks! We live in a port city so this will make for a great lesson.

3. Love this! Thanks for sharing.

4. Rebecca says:

I was amazed to learn this past summer, from my children’s swim instructor, that a full size bag of chips will work as a flotation device in an emergency. Now I would truly believe this if I could trust myself to have not already consumed said bag of chips I love your blog, thanks for sharing!

5. I am so saving this for later!

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7. HappyCampers says:

Who knew?!?

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