Beach S.T.E.M – Building a tin foil boat

We were headed to the beach for one last time before back to school, and we wanted to make the most of it.

The girls love building and experimenting, which, of course, is something we encourage!

On this trip to the lake, I brought along a roll of tin foil. The girls were a bit confused, I’ve never brought foil on a beach trip before. They were even more confused when I sat them down at the picnic table and gave them each a piece!


I gave them only 1 instruction: Make a boat that will float!

I love watching their imaginations work. They would fold one way, then undo it an fold another way. They brainstormed together.

The ‘crumple the foil around your hand’ method!

In the end they all had different boats. It was time to see if they would float!

Some were successful…some were not!

If the boats did float, we experimented with weight. Would it float holding 1 rock? how about 2? How many rocks did we need to put in before it sank?

If it didn’t float, we asked why. Was there a leak? Were the sides too short?

All in all, they had a great time! This is a great, inexpensive beach activity that will get those engineering skills going!

Next time you head to the beach, the lake or even if you have a pond nearby, bring along some tin foil and get boat building!







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