How Do Boats Float?

A boat is able to float based on the amount of water it displaces or moves out of the way. When a boat pushes against the water, the water pushes back with an equal amount of force. Therefore, a wider boat is able to carry a heavier load than a long, narrow boat. Wider boats displace more water and therefore are held up by a greater water force, enabling them to carry heavier loads.

In this activity students will experiment with how much weight a boat can hold depending on the size of the boat.


Large pan with water
Toy boats (various sizes)
Pennies (or other coins)


  1. Place the boat in the water. Allow students to interact with the boat, seeing that it floats when placed in the water.
  2. Add pennies to the boat, counting how many are added before the boat sinks.
  3. Repeat this with each type of boat and compare how the boats differ in size, shape, and the amount of pennies they can hold.

Discussion Questions to Ask:

  • What did the boats do when placed in the water?
  • How many pennies do you think each boat can hold? Which boat held more pennies?
  • If you had to make a boat to carry a heavy load, what shape and size boat would you make?

When teaching concepts related to density, it is best practice to allow students to experiment with different shapes and sizes of objects. Encourage students to explore how long objects can float before sinking, or how long it takes an object to sink when placed in the water. Finding ways to connect the activity to the students’ current interests is a great way to keep young students especially interested in the topic. Additionally, finding ways that this activity relates to the real-world is a great way to extend the science learning beyond the classroom. Looking at how large ships carry cargo, or how small ships can zip through the water very quickly, are easy ways to show how this lesson of buoyancy is applied in everyday life. For more fun buoyancy teaching tips, visit:

For Our Fun Learning Games about other great science activities, you can visit here!


Spring Treasure Hunt: Wild Edible Science

For our Spring Treasure Hunt this year, we looked around the schoolyard and in our backyards for budding edible flowers and this is what we found so far – some being edible and some NOT.  Blue-Eyed Grass (See Photo to left), Grape Hyacinth, Crocuses, Daffodils and Narcissus.  Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrhynchium bellum) is a pretty 6-petalled native species (similar to Blue-Eyed Mary’s (which we believe only has 4 petals).  Both the leaves and the flowers can be steeped for drinkable tea.  Our class is still determining the nutritional value of our findings. Golden Blue-Eyed Grass is similar in shape and form, but different branch of the same species (Sisyrinchium californicum;   Wikipedia

For your Spring Treasure Hunt, have your class split up into groups and start documenting what they find in their notebooks.  If anyone has a camera, a photo can be taken for identification to show the class later.  Then, have them determine which ones are safely edible and nutritious.  Asking locals, or checking in the encyclopedia or library, they can then determine their nutritional value.  Differentiate between which species are native to the local flora, and which ones are not.  Determine which ones are friendly to the land and neighboring plants, and keep those ones.  You can, for fun, dig out and replace them with ones that are – though if they have a bulb for a root under the ground’s surface, the bulb must also be under-dug.  i.e.   if the bulb is left in when though the flower has been pulled up, the plant will continue to propagate.  We found out that Daffodils, Narcissus, and some Crocuses, though lovely to look at are considered best NOT to eat and did not make our edible list.  Whereas Crocus Sativa has edible saffron in the middle, other crocuses are NOT edible, such as a different purple crocus called the Autumn crocus Colchicum autumnale, containing an alkaloid called colchicine.  Always be sure before trying flowers out for edibles, and do your homework!  We also found out that Daffodils are Narcissus, Narcissus being the Latin name of the genus for both, and are native mainly to the Mediterranean region, in particular to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Northern Africa and the Middle East .

These Beautiful “Grape Hyacinth”, or Muscari, though not a native species to the local land in our yard, is on the other hand, nutritious.  In the Mediterranean, and in many other parts of the world, the root bulb can be used both in salad, and as well, used in replace of onion, leek or garlic – roasted in the oven, or minced and sauteed.  The skin of the bulbs can be pulled off before cooking  The flowers themselves are a brilliant purple and can be tossed in salad and placed on the dinner plate as a garnish

At the end of the class note section, return to the grounds and carefully with a clean (sterilized) pair of scissors, cut a handful of the ones that were determined to be edible. Wash the flowers with the tiniest bit of eco-friendly dish soap and water, and then rinse with water.  Share and enjoy your tasty treats.  Share with the class which ones you like, and what taste thee flowers have – nutty, bitter, sweet, etc.  Grape Hyacinth or better known as Muscari, are reported to tase nutty, though we found them to be a bit bitter.  Maybe they become sweeter as time grows in the later Spring.  We suggest a honey lime and water mixture to pour over them – unless you prefer bitters.  We garnished our plates with the hyacinths and the blue-eyed grass, and also made tea.  The plates looked so Beautiful!

For more information, we also found a wonderful site for identification and classification of local native flower species:

From UBC,

Blue-Eyed Mary:

Blue-Eyed Grass:

For Our Fun Learning Game about other great science activities, you can visit here!





Schumann Frequency: The Heart Beat of Mother Earth

Global electromagnetic resonance phenomenon was first discovered and by Nicola Tesla, who made his first documented observations of global electromagnetic resonance at his Colorado Springs laboratory in 1899. This led to certain thought conclusions about the electrical properties of Earth, making the basis for his idea for wireless energy transmission.  Theoretically, it is the natural frequency or rather, Heart Beat of Mother Earth and when we are mostly healthy, our human bodies vibrate to this same frequency.  The lowest “mode” of the Schumann frequency occurs at a frequency of approximately 7.86 Hertz.

The following is a very cool animation video clip demonstrating the geometrics of the Schumann Resonance of Mother Earth:  By way of transverse and longitudinal waves, Tesla researched ways to transmit wireless power and energy over long distances. He transmitted extremely low frequencies through the ground, and between the Earth’s surface and the Kennelly-Heaviside layer. By this path, he received patents on wireless transmitters that developed standing waves. Through his math experiments, he discovered that the resonant frequency of the Earth was approximately 8 Hertz.

In 1952–1954 Schumann and scientist H. L. König, attempted to measure the resonant frequencies. These researchers confirmed in mid-century, that the resonant frequency of the Earth’s cavity was indeed in this range and later named the Schumann resonance.  Since then, there has been an increasing interest in SRF in many fields of study.

For tracking weather patterns across the globe, observations of Schumann resonances document record keeping of lightning activity. The Earth’s climate and Her connection with lightning activity also show global temperature and water vapor in the upper troposphere. Scientists speculate that extraterrestrial lightning (i.e. lightning on other planets) is also observed by the Schumann resonance signatures. The Schumann resonance is also used in study of the lower ionosphere for exploration on celestial stars. Within our Solar System, there are five candidates for Schumann resonance detection besides the Earth: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and its moon Titan.  The latest usage of observing Schumann patterns have been in predicting potential earthquakes.

According to metaphysician and scientist, Gregg Braden, the Schumann Resonance Frequency of Mother Earth has been steadily rising and will continue to until the end of 2012.

The SRF’s occur at several frequencies between 6 and 50 cycles per second; specifically 7.8, 14, 20, 26, 33, 39 and 45 Hertz, with a daily variation of about +/- 0.5 Hertz. As long as the properties of Earth’s electromagnetic cavity remains relatively the same, these frequencies remain the same.  Braden says that “time” appears to speed up as we approach what he calls Zero Point Phenomenon. For example, one 24 hour day seems not 24 hours, but rather about 16 hours or less.

Schumann Resonance is also known as The Heart Beat of Mother Earth.  It has been 7.8 cycles for thousands of years, but has been rising since 1980. Presently it is about 12 / 13 cycles. It stops at 13 cycles and is speculated to come to a complete stop on December 21, 2012, the end of what is known also, of the Mayan Calendar, and the mark of the beginning of a new cycle of consciousness on Mother Earth.

For fun Affordable Learning Games  Teaching Elementary Science in and outdoors of the classroom visit here:

White Buffalo, a Most Interesting Mammal

White Buffalo are extremely rare, and are actually named American Bison (American buffalo).  Different from brown or water buffalo, The White Buffalo is considered to be a sacred sign for Native Americans, and thus have Great Spiritual importance for Prayer and Sacred Ceremony.  Buffalos are normally brown in color; white buffalo come out of their Mother white due to different scientific possibilities, though for some Native American Peoples, it is not scientific at all, but rather a Sacred Sign from The Creator.

  • Their eyes may be blue, unlike albinos, and have white fur, meaning, they are leucistic;
  • Some rare genetic conditions cause the calf to be born white, though turn brown within a year or two.
  • If they are albino, they will be without pigment color throughout their lives, just like albinp people.
  • Sometimes farmers have crossbred cattle with bison, and the cross-genetics of white cattle is what causes the white fur to result.

The National Bison Association estimates the occurrence of White Buffalo being born is one out of every 10 million births.

This white calf was born in Janesville, Wisconsin on The Heider Farm, and was  named Miracle, the first one born since 1933.  She lived to be 10 years old and during her life, had several calves.

The Sacred Lakota People have within their family who is known as The White Buffalo Calf Woman or Pte Ska Win.  She is a Sacred Woman from Pure Spirit origin, who equals The Female Messiah / Shekinah.  In Lakota Spirituality, it is She who brought forth their Peoples’ Seven Sacred Rites.

This link is a photo of a Most Gorgeous Sculpture depicting The White Buffalo Calf Woman with Her Calf.  Sculpted by Artists Lee Leuning & Sherri Treeby, this piece was the winning sculpting in 2009 for the Avero organization:

Other Buffalo Facts:

Female African Buffalo, in particular, are notable for their apparent altruism. Female buffalo express a sort of shuffling behavior –  in which during resting time, the females stand up, shuffle around, and sit back down again. They then sit in the direction they think that they should move, and after an hour of further shuffling, the females move to travel in the direction they finally decide on. This decision is communal and not based on hierarchy or dominance.  If hunted by a predator, The Buffalo Herd huddle close together to build their strategy, as like other species, they are stronger when joined together.  Calves remain protected in the middle of the adult members. If a buffalo is under duress, the others move to rescue the other.  If the call is from a calf member, then not only the Mother comes, but the entire herd. In one recorded instance, known as the Battle at Kruger, a calf successfully survived an attack by both lions and a crocodile, after the herd intervened.

Similar to domesticated cattle, Buffalo sing a 2–4 second low pitch call that is repeated at 3-6 second intervals.  This signals the herd to move. When it is time to change direction, herd leaders sing a sound like a creaking gate. When signaling others of a place to drink water, they have an extended maaa’ call, and the call is made by usually one to a few individuals, and is made up to 20 times a minute before and during the movement to the oasis.

Females begin having kids after about 5 years old, and their pregnancies last about 11.5 months. Newborns hide in greenery for the first few weeks, while the Mom nurses now and again, before the Calf joins the main herd. The Maternal bond between Mother and Calf lasts longer than in other species, though if a new Calf is born, the bonding with the first calf ends, and the Mother keeps all other offspring out of the way to protect the newborn – The White Buffalo, a Most Interesting Mammal.

For Our Fun Learning Game about other Mammals, you can visit here!




Summer Oceans Pop Quiz

Since everyone is either having fun by the ocean side this summer, or dreaming about being by the ocean side, here is a Fun Summer Teaching Oceans Pop Quiz, to keep the Brain Fresh for the upcoming classes in the Fall:

1. Sea Turtles live in all the world’s oceans except the ____________.

2. Adult Turtles swim in shallow lagoons, feeding mostly on various species of ______________.

3. Clownfish are native to the warm waters of the ___________ and __________ Oceans.

4. _________ have two stomachs and therefore can hunt for larger animals than their mouth could otherwise handle.

5. Angelfish are ____________ animals, because they hide amongst the crevices of the reef by night. Continue reading “Summer Oceans Pop Quiz”

Solar System Pop Quiz

Sometimes Pop Quiz is fun in Science Class.  Surprise them with this one and see how present the class is with their current knowledge of solar system and space facts!

1. Which Galaxy do we live in on Earth?

Milky Way Galaxy

2. Is our Sun considered to be a Star or a Planet?

A Star

3. When did a human being first set foot on the Moon?


4. What planet is known for being Red even though its faux tv fiction inhabitants are considered to be Green? Continue reading “Solar System Pop Quiz”

Creating a Platylope

How about a “platy-lope” – an animal that is half platypus and half antelope?

This week, have your students create a new species, and write about and draw a picture of their animal. Have them examine the qualities of different species, and combine them into what they think would be the most adaptable survivable animal.  It could be a “dolphi-gator” – an animal that is half dolphin and half alligator. It could be a “spid-eagle” – a half spider and half eagle. Continue reading “Creating a Platylope”

Kepler 10b: Exoplanet Discovery in Search for Earth-like Worlds

Astronomers have discovered the smallest planet outside our Solar System, and the first that is definitely rocky like Earth. In September 2010, the 4th planet of the Red Dwarf star Gliese 581, appeared to be the best known example of a possible terrestrial exoplanet orbiting near its home star.

An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System.  Extrasolar planets became an object of scientific inquiry in the nineteenth century. Many astronomers supposed that they existed, but there was no way of knowing how common they were or how similar they might be to the Continue reading “Kepler 10b: Exoplanet Discovery in Search for Earth-like Worlds”

Scientist Discovers Live Birthing and Suckling Fish

The European eelpout, also known as the viviparous eelpout (Zoarces viviparus), also known as the, viviparous blenny actually suckles its young like a mammal.  It is also called the Mother of eels as it gives live birth, unlike its multitude of its fish cousins. Viviparous, in regard to animals, means development of the embryo inside the body of the mother, eventually leading to live birth (as opposed to laying eggs). Continue reading “Scientist Discovers Live Birthing and Suckling Fish”

Blubber: Teaching About Sea Mammals

Want to really get your elementary kids interested in learning about sea mammals such as whales and walruses?  Then teach about blubber! If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s nothing so disgusting as it sounds.  Blubber is the part of the sea mammals that keeps them warm. In fact, before you start this experiment, you should make sure that the kids understand this salient point. At the end of this, students should know that blubber is the fat layer beneath many sea animals’ skin, and that this layer is an insulator that helps sea mammals to stay warm. Continue reading “Blubber: Teaching About Sea Mammals”