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Ellingham Primary School

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Paper boat world championships

Who are the 2017 world champions?









The winning boat was constructed by James and Aimee which managed to hold a total of 1015g before capsizing. Several children confused yet amazed at how a paper boat could sustain such an amount of weight. Luckily, we have been learning about density plus floating and sinking. The following explanation was used in class.

What determines whether an object floats or sinks? It is the density (mass per unit volume) of the object compared to the density of the liquid. If the object is more dense than the fluid, it will sink. If the object is less dense than the fluid, it will float. If the object has the same density as the fluid it will neither sink nor float.

The ship floats because its density is less than the density of water. If too much cargo or weight is added to the ship, the density of the ship becomes greater than the density of water, and the ship sinks. Extra cargo would need to be thrown overboard in a hurry or it is time to abandon ship!