NPO Tokyo Community School

Tokyo Community School



1-62-10 Nakano, Tokyo 164-0001

Tokyo Community School

Unit 2: “All Aboard” – Week 4

Unit of Inquiry

Sail Boats “Engine Power” – Boat Experiment Pt.3

This week we focused on making “motorized” boats, or “Engine Power” as the kids called it.  For this experiment we just needed three things, a sponge (the boat), a straw (the rudder), and a balloon (the engine).  First we needed to poke our straw through the sponge.  At first tried to jam the straw into the sponge to make a whole, but we soon learned that we would need an extra tool to make a hole big enough for our straws.  After we poked our straws through the sponge, we shortened our straws so the boat wouldn’t capsize.  The last step was to attach a balloon to the top end of the straw.  When we were done with creating the boat we had to practice blowing up the balloon, so our engine could work.  Since it was the first time blowing balloons for most of us we had to practice a lot.  All of the us couldn’t blow up new balloons, but if the balloon was stretched out a few of us could blow it up.

Once we figured out how to make the balloon/engine work we went out to the pool to test our boats.  Fortunately all of our boats could float and move, but there was a few cases of boats capsizing due to the balloon being too heavy during fast turns.  We found that the balloons didn’t really make our boats go straight, but rather in circles.  The hard turns combined with the top-heavy balloons were causing the capsizing.  In the case of capsizing with turns, we just un-capsized their boats and it went smoothly again.



Boat Collage

We worked on our fine motor skills by cutting various shapes.  Individually we cut out 7 circles, 2 triangles, and 1 square.  We had to be careful to cut the correct size and shape.  We then set aside our shapes to color our background.  We looked up what the ocean sky looks like and we learned that the sky isn’t always blue! Sometimes it’s gray and cloudy, or even orange or purple early in the morning or late at night.  We colored the background based on what kind of sky we wanted.  Then we took our shapes and glued them down into what we thought a ship looks like.



This week it was raining a lot.  Every park we went to always had puddles.  We enjoyed playing with the water and mud.  This week we went fishing for leaves in the puddles.  We also became chefs and made mud onigiri and sushi.

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