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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 1
  2. Science and Technology
  3. Activities
  4. Investigating buoyancy
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Investigating buoyancy

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 1 (end of Year 2)
Grade C Morgan   Casey   Jordan   Chris   Riley   Lindsay   Kerry  
Grade D Bailey  

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:

Investigating Scientifically, Designing and Making, The Made Environment

Description of activity

Students develop a design, using everyday materials, of a structure that will float on water.


  1. Students identify the design task and develop an idea to be investigated.
  2. Students make a prediction about which materials will sink or float.
  3. They select a variety of materials and tools from those provided.
  4. Students join and float the materials on water to test their prediction about the buoyancy of their design.
  5. They record the results and describe, where necessary, changes to the design.

Suggested materials

Variety of everyday, accessible materials eg paddle pop sticks, plastic containers, polystyrene foam, straws, toothpicks/skewers, pipe cleaners, plasticine, paper, cloth, cork, plastic, wire

Prior learning

This investigation of buoyancy is a part of a task on designing and making a boat which is a component of a Science and Technology unit of work integrated with learning in other KLAs. Students are investigating how people’s everyday needs can be met by making, shaping and joining materials. The focus of the unit is to provide students with opportunities to develop their understanding of the made environment through conducting first-hand experiences in investigating, designing and making and using technology. At the end of the unit the students will demonstrate the models of the structures that they have designed and made to float on water. Students have explored ways of joining and shaping materials. This activity assesses students' understanding and skills in independently implementing aspects of the investigating process by observing, predicting, testing and recording accurate results.


Products and Services (PS S1.5)
Grows, makes or processes some products using a range of techniques and materials.
Investigating (INV S1.7)
Conducts guided investigations by observing, questioning, predicting, collecting and recording data, and suggesting possible explanations.
Designing and Making (DM S1.8)
Develops, implements own design ideas in response to an investigation of needs and wants.
Using Technology (UTS 1.9)
Selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources to undertake an investigation or design task.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Develop and record the design to be investigated.
  • Select and use appropriate materials and tools.
  • Test the materials to identify if they will float on water.
  • Predict the results of the test.
  • Conduct the test and record the results.
  • Identify changes to improve the design.
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