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Stay Afloat

Find out what materials and shapes float best and create your own boat.

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  • What materials will you use to build your boat?
  • Where will you test your boat?
  • What materials work best for floating?


  • What makes a boat float and what materials float best?
  • As a small group, select what materials you would like to make your boat out of and then build your boat.
  • Once it’s ready, float it in water!
  • Add weight to your boat to see how well it floats.
  • You can also push your boat to see how well it moves. Make adjustments as needed and keep trying for success!


  • What materials and shapes worked best?
  • Did what actually happened match your expectations?
  • If you were to make a bigger boat (big enough to hold people) what materials and shapes would you use?
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map


Feel free to use whatever materials you can think of, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Milk cartons or juice boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Non-plastic straws
  • Reused Plastic bags
  • Reused Plastic dishes
  • Corks

Keep it Simple

  • Start small! Start by creating rafts out of popsicle sticks or sticks that you’ve found on the ground. Explore why certain materials float and what you can do to help your boat float more effectively.

Take it Further

  • For Scouts and older: Challenge your Patrol to create a boat or raft that can hold at least one member of your Patrol. Still too easy? Create a raft that can hold your whole Patrol afloat, then race against the other members of your group to see whose raft is the fastest and most efficient.