Friday, 7 June 2013

Club Day. The Nature Version.

My, yesterday was a busy day.  On top of the birthday crafting and celebration, there was also Nature Club.  Our mission yesterday was to make a driftwood boat that would float and keep its sail out of the water.  I loved this activity because it gave us plenty of room to experiment and try different variables, without being too overwhelming.

Supplies for this activity were minimal - smaller chunks of wood (that the Clubbers found by rummaging through our bin of kindling), small sticks for the mast, scrap fabric for the sails (courtesy my scrap fabric basket), plasticine, scissors and glue.  Oh, and buckets of water to test out our creations, of course.

I happened to have an already completed driftwood boat on hand, so we used it to kick off our meeting and to make a few discoveries.  The piece of driftwood used in this boat was quite narrow, and it was quite tippy in the water as a result.  This led us to discuss that perhaps a wider piece of wood would work best for our boats.  We also discovered that white glue is soluble when it gets wet, so we had best use a different type of glue when attaching our sails to the masts (we used a hot glue gun).

Our tippy example boat
Next, we attached our masts to the boat by wrapping the plasticine around one end of the stick, then forming a base so that the plasticine would stick to the wood.  We found that adding this weight, including its placement on the wood, could change how well the wood floated and how stable the boat was.

Finally, the Clubbers raided my scrap fabric basket and cut out their own sails.  I then glued them to their masts and they tried one final time to see if their boats would stay upright.  Some did and some didn't.  We found that sails that were centered on the masts worked best, as well as masts that were shorter.

A boat that floats!

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