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We have a collection of paperclips, bottle caps, spoons, cans, candles, corks, marbles, and a few other small things.

We need to sort them into three categories, according to their weight: light, medium, and heavy. We can either use a postage scale or we can just feel them and decide (that is called "hefting" them).

let's drop the objects, one at a time, into a large container filled with water. If there aren't any fish in it, we can use the aquarium.

Make a list of what you see. List the items that float, and the items that sink. Make notes about your reasons for the things that float and the things that sink.

Do all the things that are heavy sink and the things that are light float?

If the same items are sorted by their size, without considering their weight, would that make a difference on your lists?

If we had a rock that weighed one pound, and a block of wood that weighed one pound, one would sink and one would float.

The rock would be smaller than the block of wood, because it takes more wood to weigh one pound. So what we would have is two objects of the same weight, but of different sizes. The large object would float, and the small one would sink. Why is that?

Think about this: aircraft carriers FLOAT!


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