My House Stayed Drier Than Yours

My House Stayed Drier Than Yours – Teach One Reach OneScripture: Genesis 5-9

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Noah, focusing especially on God’s instructions for building the Ark
  • Students will learn it was important for Noah to follow God’s instructions exactly as they were given to him
  • Students will learn the basic scientific principles involved in staying dry
  • Students will experiment with ways to build structures that will keep them dry in the rain

Guiding Question: What found materials can you add to a shelter to make it water resistant and/or waterproof?

Materials: sticks (or craft sticks), fabric, plastic grocery bags, cooking oil, tin foil, leaves, clay, mud, wax, cardboard, cotton (rounds), watering can, water

Procedure: Review the story of Noah. Focus on the instructions God gave Noah for building the Ark. Discuss with students what might have happened if Noah had done things in ways that were different from God’s instructions. The Ark had to accomplish several important tasks. One was to keep the rain from getting into the Ark. Teach/review the idea that objects can either absorb or repel water. If this is a new concept, you may choose to do the activity “How Can We Keep It Dry” first.) link Explain that for an object to repel water, it must be made non-porous – allowing the water to roll off rather than being absorbed. Allow students to work alone or in pairs. They should use the materials provided to build a structure at least four inches tall with some sort of roof. The roof should be designed to keep the inside of the structure dry. Test each roof by covering the “floor” of the structure with cotton. Using a watering can, test each roof to see if it repels water or leaks onto the cotton “floor”. Discuss the results with the class. Which materials or combinations of materials worked the best at repelling water?

Additional Question: Which materials that repelled water would be the most cost effective and practical in a real shelter?

Supplemental Activity: Repeat the the experiment using the most cost effective and practical materials. Try combining several to see if they produce better results for marginal cost increases.