Why does some aluminum float while other aluminum sinks? An interesting simulation begins with an introduction using oil, water, and blocks of wood and brick. After experimenting with gravity, buoyancy, density, volume, masses, and force values, scholars are ready for the full buoyancy playground. This portion of the simulation contains a variety of materials, including an unknown, and multiple fluids including air, honey, gasoline, and others on the spectrum of fluid density.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Walk through the intro section with viewers so they see exactly how to operate the simulation before having them use the buoyancy playground independently
  • After using the simulation, give pupils a block for them to determine the substance using the same tests and values
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Windows XP or later with Flash 9 or later, Mac OS 10.5 or later with Flash 9 or later, or Linux Flash 9 or later

  • Includes a long list of teacher-submitted activities to go along with the simulation
  • Provides model simplification for differentiation
  • Translates into 52 different languages

  • On the Buoyancy Playground, the page is so crowded you often can't see all of the information needed