Sink or Float

Scripture: Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn Jesus is watching over us even if it seems he is “asleep”.
  • Students will learn Jesus wants us to have faith and trust in him.
  • Students will learn nothing is impossible for God if it is His will.
  • Students will learn how weight of a boat affects how well it floats on water.

Guiding Question:  Why is having strong faith in Jesus important during life’s storms?

Materials: Bucket/large container, aluminum foil, small objects (beads, cubes, small toys, etc)

Procedure: Review the story of Jesus calming the storm. Explain that the Apostles fear came from not trusting and having full faith in Jesus. It is important to remember that Jesus is always watching over us even when life is tough. He wants us to trust him with everything and have faith that nothing is impossible for Him.

Introduce the experiment. Explain why the Apostles were afraid the boat would sink. Have the students build small “boats” out of aluminum foil. Next, the students will place their boats in a tub of water. Create waves of a storm (use hair dryer, use your hand, etc). Ask students what makes a boat sink. Add weight to the boat (representing people). Recreate the storm and ask students if the boat sinks more quickly or more slowly with added weight. In conclusion, explain Archimedes Principle (any object immersed in a fluid is acted upon by an upward, or buoyant, force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object) and how it plays a part in boats and storms.

Additional Questions: What types of objects will sink or float?

Supplemental Activity: Fill a large container with water. Have several items for the students to look at and make guesses about what will float and what will sink. Have the students help you test these objects and then explain why heavier objects will sink.

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