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Science Rocks!

Junk Boats


your results

Sent in by:
Mark of San Francisco, CA

Some boats are called junks. These boats are junk.

Materials Needed

  • you decide!



  1. Using recycled materials from your house, build a boat that can sail across a pool, or a bathtub, using only your own wind power. Also, you have to stay in one place when you blow on your boat.

You can also send us your pictures or video of this ZOOMsci:
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Some of your Results

Andrea D. of Farmington Hills, MI wrote:
I used a dish, but it just sank. I think it was because it was too heavy. Then I used a very larg plastic bag that I shaped so no water could get in and it worked!

Katie R., age 7 wrote:
My Junk Boat did float.

Klaire B., age 5 of Ozark, MO wrote:
I went looking and found a lot of trash. I used a Coke bottle and a water bottle. The one I made out of a pie pan with a sponge and a pencil and a coffee filter for the sail worked the best. I made one with a piece of cardboard and a feather it floated good too.

Allison C., age 8 of Londonderry, NH wrote:
I made mine out of a strafome meat tray and I cut the part in front like a triangle. I used one of those to use in the back for a rudder for the sail I used a zip-lock bag with the zip-lock cut off. I balanced it with marbles.

Ben W., age 4 of Dresher, PA wrote:
I put a piece of cardboard in water, and it held 41 pennies before it sank. Then we used a plastic holder for 20 mini quiches, and we fit 88 pennies on it. It would have held a lot more, but we ran out of pennies.

Deanna K., age 13 of Sydney, NS wrote:
For my Junk Boat, I used cardboard, toilet paper rolls, pennies, tape, and tin foil. First, I took the cardboard and tested it to see if it would float. It did but after awhile it started to get soft so I decided to put tin foil under it to keep it afloat. After that I decided that I needed a sail, so I cut the toilet paper role in half and taped it down on one side of the cardboard and on the side of the toilet paper role I taped a piece of tin foil and I curved it a little. So I tested that out. It worked because the tin foil caught air which caused it to move. But there was one problem, my boat was tipping over because all of the weight was on one side. So I taped the other half of the toilet paper role on the opposite side of the boat and put 5 pennies in it. It worked!!! My sister also made a boat, but hers didn't turn out so well. When we raced them hers just spun around in circles. I think it was because her sail was too small. Anyway, I won the race! Thanks so much for the idea! I love your show!!!

Katie M., age 11 of Winslow, IL wrote:
When I made the junk boat it worked out great. I made mine out of toothpicks. It was really groovy!!

Nicole K., age 10 of Canada, NS wrote:
For my junk boat I used cardboard, tinfoil and a pencil. I put a piece of cardboard in the water to see if it would float it did but it got soggy. So I put tinfoil on the bottem. It worked good but I wanted it to go faster so I put a mass on the bottem. I made my mass out of card board and tinfoil. To make my sail I taped a pencil to the cardboard and then I taped a piece of tinfoil to the pencil. I tried to sail it and it worked, it went fast when I blew it!!! By the way I love your show!!!

Andrea G., age 10 of San Jose, CA wrote:
It did not work. I used a pie tin.

Darrin M., age 11 of Post Falls, ID wrote:
My junk boat won all 10 races!

Jessica K., age 13 of VA wrote:
I used lots of things around the house. Mine couldent stay up becuase of the wieght. Then I tried another one, and it was too light. Why do you think that is?

Kristi B., age 11 of CA wrote:
I built a junk boat that was very complicated! This is how it was built: I taped toothpicks together to make the base. On one side of it, I covered it with tape and stuck popcorn kernels to the tape. I blew up four balloons just a tiny bit so they could fit on the base and taped them on there, each facing each other to make a square. I found a square piece of plastic and on the bottom, taped a folded napkin. Then I placed that on the balloons and, of course, taped it on. On the top of the plastic, I taped a folded sheet of paper with a hole I made in it. I stuck through the hole a longer toothpick and taped it in place. Like on Zoom, I attatched a sandwitch bag to the toothpick to catch the wind. When I tried it out, it didn't work that well, but it did float! I was surprised because it looked so heavy! This was really fun! Thank you Zoom!

Sean G., age 9 of Toledo, OH wrote:
It floated and it sailed in the direction of the wind.

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