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Boat Engineering Design Challenge

Activity

Nature vs. Recycled Materials Edition

Using your Engineer brain make two boats 1) one out of only natural materials (leaves, sticks, grass) and 2) one out of recycled materials. Which one floats longer? Which one goes farther? Why do you think that? Use your planning, designing, problem solving and modification skills to create a successful boat!
hydro1
hydro1 (2)

Science Seed

Why do some things float and others don’t? The secret is buoyancy, or the ability of objects to float in water and air. Whether or not an object has buoyancy depends mostly on two factors: the amount of water an object displaces and the density of an object. An object that is less dense than water will float on water. A pebble is dense and displaces very little water, therefore it sinks. However, a basketball is not very dense and displaces more water, therefore it floats. If the weight of the water displaced is more than the weight of the object, the object will float. A boat is very heavy and dense, but it weighs less than the water that it displaces.
botany jar illustration

earn Badges

Badges can be earned through hands-on experiences within each of the 16 branches of science, or “Science Slices.” You can earn a badge in each branch of science by doing four activities in these categories. We also encourage participants to keep a Nature Journal to record their memories, and to express themselves creatively through writing or drawing after each activity. We recommend that each child (and parent if they’d like) write or draw in a journal after each activity, with expectations of your children that match their age (the goal is self-expression, not perfection).

Explore the Detroit Libraries

Use this map to help you guide your way through the Detroit Libraries as you complete activities.

The Ecologist School Pocket Guide: Detroit Libraries Edition is a project by Families in Nature to help our community learn more about the ecosystems around them, while getting outside into nature together! This booklet has 64 lessons across 16 different branches of science to help you play, learn and volunteer in the park as a family!

Special thanks to the National Recreation and Park Associations’ Resilient Park Access Grant that allowed the creation of expanded natural areas in parks throughout Detroit and made Nature Exploration Backpacks available for checkout at Detroit libraries. Many thanks to the partners involved including City of Detroit General Services Department, Detroit Outdoors, Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors, The Greening of Detroit, NRPA, Detroit Public Libraries, Families in Nature and the Nature Pocket Community Advisory Committee.

Take these guides, and explore some near-by nature in a park near you:

District 1: Stoepel No. 1

District 2: Sawyer Playground

District 3: Jayne Field

 

District 4: Skinner Playfield

District 5: Bishop Park

District 6: Romanowski Park

District 7: Stein Playfield

join Families in Nature

It is our vision to inspire all families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists. Becoming a member of Families in Nature will give your family the opportunity to have adventures in nature, experience field science, develop as youth conservation leaders, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Memberships are free for everyone.

Who are we?

Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.
Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.
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