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Eureka!

Or Buoyancy and Archimedes Principle

Grade Level: 10 (9-10) Time Required: 4 hours Group Size: 3-4 Expendable Cost per Group: US < $5 Summary This activity uses Archimedes Principle to explore material properties in hands-on and visually evident ways. Students will form small groups to experiment with various materials. They will then calculate densities for those materials and present their findings to the class. Using this information, they will identify an unknown material based on its density. In the second part of the activity, the groups will explore buoyant forces. They will measure displacement needed for various materials to float on water and will construct the formula for buoyancy. Using this formula, they will calculate the numerical solution for a boat hull using given design parameters. They will present their findings to the class. Engineering Connection Buoyancy is important for determining how objects behave in a fluid (liquid or gas). Differences in densities of one material in another will determine whether an object will sink or float in a liquid, or how much liquid the object displaces when floating. Engineers must consider material densities and the resulting buoyant forces when designing boats, submarines, underwater pipelines and cables, and aircraft. Buoyant forces also need to be understood to study or influence dispersion of pollutants in air or water or the separation of impurities from molten metals.

Engineering Category (1) relates science concept to engineering, (2) relates math concept to engineering Keywords Water, density, hydro-engineering, buoyant force, displacement Educational Standards Washington State Mathematics: Core Content A1.8: Reasoning, Problem Solving, and Communication o A1.8.A: Analyze a problem situation and represent it mathematically. National Council for Teaching of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards: Geometry: Analyze characteristics and properties of two and three dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships. o Understand relations and functions and select, convert flexibly among, and use various representations of them Measurement: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement o Make decisions about units and scales that are appropriate for problem situations involving measurement Connections: Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics. Pre-Requisite Knowledge Students should be comfortable with basic measurements, units of measure and calculations. Learning Objectives After this activity, students should be able to: Measure masses and volumes of known and unknown substances Calculate density Verify their results Predict physical behaviors with a numerical model Goals: This project is designed to connect experimentation with mathematical modeling and demonstrate the power of mathematical models. This project is designed to connect with students across many cultures and different socioeconomic strata. Water and watercraft are used throughout the world. This project provides insights to one aspect of engineering. Students discover how engineers use mathematics to design a boat within desired operating conditions. Materials List Each group needs: 1 ruler 1 graduated cylinder marked in milliliters (can be a 2L bottle with ruler) 1 scale (can be digital) that measures mass in grams

Known objects of a variety of materials: wood, steel, aluminum, plastic, glass, Styrofoam, water and oil 1 irregularly shaped mystery object of unknown material 4 plastic 500 mL drinking bottles 1 sheet of aluminum foil Attached worksheet Introduction / Motivation Most of us know that steel feels heavier than plastic, but why is this? How do we know what an object is made of? How do large ships made of metal float on water? How are these two questions related? Lets start with the first question. (Tell the following story of Archimedes and the kings crown.) A long time ago in ancient Greece, a man named Archimedes was trying to solve a problem. He wanted to know how to tell if a crown was made of real gold. You might know that different materials have different densities (mass per volume). Archimedes reasoned that if he could figure out the density of the crown, he could determine whether it was gold or not. Density = mass / volume, so if you had a regular shape like a cube, it would be easy to measure and calculate the volume. But how could he calculate the volume of the crown? He decided to have a nice bath to think about this. When he got into the bath, the water level rose, and he realized that he could measure the volume of water displaced by the crown, and so discover the volume of the crown, then calculate the density of the crown. Eureka! Do you know why large ships made of steel can float on water? It is related to what Archimedes noticed when he got in the bath. The displacement of water is what keeps ships afloat and it is called the buoyancy effect. In order for a ship to float on water, it needs to displace its own weight in water. This might be hard to understand right now, but we will do some experiments to prove that this is true. Vocabulary / Definitions Word Definition weight How heavy an object is. What a scale reads when it is weighed in a given setting. Note that an objects weight will be different on Earth than on the moon. mass The property of an object that gives it weight. We will be using metric unit of gram (g) as the unit of mass and equating it to the weight measured by a scale under classroom conditions. volume The space an object takes up. We will use both the metric unit cubic centimeter (cm3) solids and milliliters (mL) for liquids. It is convenient that 1 cm3 = 1 mL. density How much mass per volume a material has. Mass is an intensive property (as opposed to extensive), which means that it is a characteristic of the material and independent of the size of the object. Density is calculated by the formula: density=mass/volume. Density of water is 1 g/cm3. displacement The volume of water that is moved away or replaced by an object. This is viewed as a change in apparent volume and we measure it in milliliters (mL). Buoyant The force exerted by water due to displacement of the water. Because water force has a density of 1 g/cm3, for each cubic centimeter (or milliliter) displaced, 1 g of water has been displaced. This means that by measuring the change in volume in milliliters, we have found the mass of the object in grams. formulas Volume of block = l*w*h or length*width*height Volume of sphere = 4/3**r3 where r is the radius Volume of cylinder = h**r2 where h is the height

Procedure Before the Activity Read all materials and do the experiment and worksheet beforehand to understand the activity and be aware of any difficulties. Gather the materials needed (from list above): the graduated cylinder can be 2 liter bottle (top cut off) with a ruler (then students measure displacement in cm and calculate volume), the known objects can be found (glass marbles, steel marbles, wood blocks, etc) or cut to appropriate size. Many of these are household items, or ones found in a school shop class, or can be bought at a local hardware store. The mystery object should be the same material as one of the known objects, but should be irregular in shape and can be masked with paint or tape to conceal its identity. For references, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buoyancy and: http://hyperphysics.phyastr.gsu.edu/hbase/pbuoy.html#buoy With the Students 1. Review fractions and how to calculate the volume of a cube, a sphere, and a cylinder. 2. Students will form groups of 3 or 4 and get one set of equipment for the group. a. The group is responsible to work together and complete the activity together. Each student is responsible to fill out their own worksheet to be handed in. b. The group will present their findings to the class (see below). 3. Day 1: Hand out Eureka Archimedes Principle Worksheet 1. Students measure the mass and dimensions of known materials and calculate the density of each. a. Each team will record their findings on the board and the class will discuss the findings, including sources of error, variations in density results for different samples, etc. 4. The teams will measure and calculate the density for the mystery object and deduce the material. a. The class will come together again to compare each groups results for the mystery object and assess what the groups have discovered. 5. Day 2: Hand out Eureka Archimedes Principle Worksheet 2. Students experiment with boats (plastic bottles) filled with various materials to determine an equation for the buoyant force. 6. After the groups complete the worksheet, bring the class together to discuss these findings. a. This force supporting the floating object is known as the buoyant force. When an object is floating on water, the force of gravity on that object is equal to the buoyant force of the water. b. Buoyant force of water = density*displacement, which is equal to the force (due to gravity) of the boat = weight. 7. The height above or below the water may change with the boats orientation, but the volume above and below the water will not change. 8. Day 3: For the final project, each group will design a boat hull either in class or as homework. a. Each group will use a numerical model to calculate the dimensions of the hull with given design parameters. b. Each group will report their findings to the class as directed by the teacher. 9. The teacher can use this opportunity to explain how this activity relates to the engineering design process.

a. An example of the design project would be the following: some of the largest oil supertankers are designed to carry 500,000 GWT (gross weight tons). This is 500,000,000 kg. It would require 500,000 Liters of water to be displaced or 500,000 m3! The hull for these ships can be 400m (1312ft) long and 60m (197ft) wide giving a draft (submerged depth) of 20.8m (68ft)! b. More specs can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_tanker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world's_longest_ships http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanker_(ship) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knock_Nevis Attachments Eureka Archimedes Principle Worksheet 1 Eureka Archimedes Principle Worksheet 2

Assessment Activity Embedded Assessment See attached worksheets. Post-Activity Assessment Collect and grade student Eureka-Archimedes worksheets 1 and 2. Determine whether students are able to do the following (NCTM Geometry and Measurement Standards): 1) Find conversion factors and do all calculations independently 2) Analyze any geometric shape and complete the task independently 3) Apply the mathematics to the experimental results Activity Extensions Student Reflection: 1. What was something that was really good about this project? It could be something you were proud of accomplishing or something that went well in this activity. Explain why this was important 2. What is something you would do differently if you had to do this activity again or something (a skill or a process) you would like to work on after this activity? State how you would do this 3. What is something significant that you learned from this activity? This could be something you hadnt noticed before or if you had a light bulb (a-ha) moment.

Owner
Engineering Education Research Center, College of Engineering and Architecture, Washington State University.

Copyright
Board of Regents, Washington State University, Copyright 2010. This content was developed by the Culturally Relevant Engineering Application in Mathematics program under National Science Foundation GK-12 program Grant No. 0538652.