Aluminum Foil Boat Tutorial

Try this STEM Activity Challenge at home or in the classroom!!

In this activity students will work in groups to design and build a small boat from aluminum foil. They will then see how many pennies it can hold before it sinks. The goal is for each student to work with their group to build and modify their boat to hold as many pennies as possible.

STEM Activity: aluminum Foil Boats


Materials  (per group, 3-4 students):

  • 2 aluminum foil squares that are 15cm by 15cm (1 square will be in case they make a mistake or want to redesign their boat)
  • 1 beaker or clear cup (to show the aluminum foil and penny sinking at the beginning of this activity)
  • approx. 50 pennies (I put these in a small cup)
  • A fish tank / large bowl for setting these in when filling with pennies (1 tank per class)

Video Tutorial:

Available for purchase in my TpT Storek-2 Grade Activity, 3-5th Grade Activity, 6-8th Grade
– Student Worksheet
– Teacher / Parent Instructions
– Grading Rubric
– Other fun and exciting STEM Activity Challenges!

STEM Activity Aluminum Foil Boats

This STEM Activity Challenge includes teacher instructions, student instructions (worksheet), grading rubrics, a demonstration video for the teacher, a materials needed sheet, and the related NGSS standards!

In the teacher demonstration video, I give you an overview of the activity challenge, talk about the materials involved and where to get them, demonstrate how to set up the challenge for the students, and discuss the science involved. Teachers have found these videos to be very helpful by showing them step-by-step how to run the activity and giving them a better understanding of the science behind it.

This activity will challenge students to work together in groups to complete the given task. These activities are fun, engaging, and the students will learn science in the process. Group work and problem solving are at the heart of these challenges.

Each activity challenge will end with a real-world research question, video, or activity. It is usually an extension of what the students just discovered and learned. The students will be involved, excited, and looking forward to future activity challenges in your classroom.