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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
BARGES AND OTHER FLOATING OBJECTS
ACTIVITY I - DISPLACEMENT
Displacement- the weight of water which is moved aside (or overflows from a full container) when an
object is placed in the water.
1. Add water to the large container until it starts to
overflow through the plastic tube on the side.
2. Weigh the aluminum barge and plastic bowl #1
together.
Record the weight to the nearest gram in the table
below.
#1
Readings Weight of Barge + Bowl#1:
Barge + Bowl#1 grams
3. Place #1 bowl under the overflow tube.
Carefully float the barge in the water, trying not to
make waves. Catch the overflow (displaced) water
in the #1 bowl.
#1
4. Hasten the draining of the water by carefully
dipping water out of the aquarium and adding it to
the weighing container until the water stops
dripping from the tube.
#1
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
5. Weigh the displaced water. It should weigh the
same as the barge. Record your results in the table
below.
#1
Readings Weight of Displaced Water + Bowl#1:
Displaced Water + Bowl#1 grams
Some error is expected due to small wind waves and because surface tension of the water prevents an
identical water level at the drain following each overflow test.
Surface tension is the force required to break the film-like surface layer of water. Water molecules at the
surface rearrange themselves to bond more tightly together, forming a tough, thin film which allows a
needle to float and allows certain insects to walk on water. Adding a drop of detergent breaks up this
tight bonding, thereby reducing the surface tension.
6. Place four lead weights in the #1 bowl and record
the total weight.
Also, record the approximate waterline on the side
of the barge (do not remove the barge from the water,
just eyeball the number marking the waterline).
#1
Water Line: Barge
Waterline cm
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
7. Remove the lead weights from the #1 bowl and
place them aside.
Position the #1 bowl beneath the overflow tube,
then carefully place the weights in the barge. Catch
the overflow water in the container.
#1
8. Hasten complete displacement by carefully dipping
water from the aquarium and adding it to the
container similar to step 4.
#1
9. Weigh the displaced water and record in the table
below. The weight should equal the total weight of
#1
Displaced Water + Bowl#1 grams
You have just demonstrated a variation of
Archimedes Principle, which states that for an
object to float freely in the water, the weight of the
object must be equal to or less than the weight of
the water it displaces.
Archimedes original principle states that a
submerged object will displace a volume of liquid
equal to its own volume.
Archimedes' Principle
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
10. Observe how many centimeters (approximate) the
Calculate how many more lead weights it would
take to sink the barge.
Record your results in the table below.
Water Line: Barge
Water Line: Barge
Amount barge sank with 4 lead weights cm
barge
11. Count out this many weights, and carefully arrange
them in the barge until it sinks.
#1
How many weights did it take to sink the barge?
Check One:
Yes
No
Close
12. Discuss how you could sink the barge using only
half this number of lead weights.
#1
Write down how you would sink the barge using only half the number of lead weights.
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
You have now demonstrated another important
concept related to waterborne transportation--the
center of gravity, which is the location inside the
vessel where the entire weight of the barge and
By shifting the location of the weights on the
barge you shifted the location of the center of
gravity, making the barge less stable and thus
sinkable with less weight.
Different centers of gravity
ACTIVITY II - TRANSPORTATION
13. Move to the wooden trough half filled with water.
Remove the board from the top and set it aside.
14. Carefully place the steel (black) barge at one end of
the trough.
15. Arrange 5 lead weights in the barge. One of these
weights should be attached to a string that has a
wing nut tied to the other end.
Remove any knots in the string before proceeding.
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
16. While one person holds the barge in place, another
person places the string into the groove at the other
end of the trough--allowing the wing nut to hang
just over the outside.
17. Release the barge and observe that it moves down
the trough under the power of a single nut.
The barge gets its power from the weight of the
wingnut as Earths gravity pulls the wingnut to the
floor.
Newtons second law of motion states that:
Force = Mass x Acceleration.
In our case Mass = Weight of wingnut, and
Acceleration = Force of gravity (980 cm/sec/sec).
Gravity
18. Locate the blue truck and place it at the end of
the roadway that says start. Next, place four
Notice that a string and a small bucket is attached
to the truck.
19. While one person holds the truck at one end of the
road, another places the string into the groove
at the other end--allowing the bucket to hang over
the edge.
20. Release the truck!
If it fails to move add wing nuts to the bucket until
it begins to move down the road.
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
21. Compare the force or weight required to move
in the table below.
The bucket weighs the same as three wing nuts.
You should find that it takes about 10 times the
force (in this case weight) to move cargo by
1 bucket = 3 wing nuts
Readings Moving the Barge and Truck:
Total Wingnuts + Bucket (3 Wingnuts) to Move Truck
Wingnuts to Move Barge 1
Discussion
Which barge can carry more cargo, aluminum or steel?
Why arent all barges made out of aluminum or wood rather than steel?
Barges and ships provide inexpensive ways to transport goods when compared with trucks, trains, and
especially airplanes.
For example, one gallon of fuel can move one ton of freight:
59 miles by truck
202 miles by train 514 miles by ship or barge
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
The main reason why water transportation is so
fuel efficient is because boats , much like fish, do
not have to use energy to overcome the
downward pull of gravity. Trains and trucks
overcome gravity by being supported on wheels.
However energy is wasted as frictional heat
when these wheels roll along the tracks or over the
highways. Barges and ships use energy only to
overcome friction with the water, not to support
the weight of the boat and its cargo!
Friction + Gravity
Friction only
However, it is important to keep the bottom and
sides of vessels smooth and free of barnacles and
algae to reduce the friction with the water.
High friction Low friction
What is the major disadvantage of barge or ship transportation, compared with trains, trucks and
airplanes?
Name some things which are usually transported by ships and barges.
Name some which would not be suitable for water transportation.
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
Barge and ship transportation is increasingly
important in our global economy. There are no
bridges linking America with Europe or Asia. The
only transportation between these continents is by
water or air.
It costs about \$15 per pound to ship a package by air.
\$15/pound
22. Calculate the cost to ship a 2000 pound Toyota car
from Japan to the United States by air. Record your
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
Calculation Cost of Transporting:
Cost to ship Toyota via air
(2000 lbs x \$15)
\$
Cost of a new Toyota \$
How are automobiles shipped from Japan and Europe to the United States?
ACTIVITY III - GEOGRAPHY
If you run short of time, complete this activity when you return to school.
23. Move to the bench with the map of the world.
Locate the 10 largest cities in the United States
(listed below) on the map.
In the table below, mark the coastal cities ( those
located next to an ocean, or on a major river or
large lake which connects to the world oceans) with
a C. Mark inland cities with an I.
Coastal vs. Inland Cities in the United States
C = Coastal I = Inland
City State Coastal (C) vs. Inland (I)
New York New York
Los Angeles California
Chicago Illinois
Houston Texas
Phoenix Arizona
San Diego California
Dallas Texas
San Antonio Texas
Miami Florida
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
Shore Side Modules Barges and Other Floating Objects
24. Locate the 11 largest cities in the world outside of
the United States (listed below). Again mark coastal
Cand inland I for each city.
Coastal vs. Inland Cities in the World
C = Coastal I = Inland
City Country Coastal (C) vs. Inland (I)
Buenos Aires Argentina
Mumbai India
Seoul Korea
Jakarta Indonesia
Karachi Pakistan
Manila Philippines
Sao Paulo Brazil
Dilli (New Delhi) India
Istanbul Turkey
Shanghai China
Mexico City Mexico
What do you think was the major reason why these coastal cities grew so large?
Circle One:
A. The fishing was great.
B. People liked to live close to the beach so they could go surfing
C. All kinds of goods (lumber, cotton, grain, iron ore, coal, oil) as well as people (immigrants and
emigrants) could be moved to and from that city and other places in the world cheaply.
END OF THIS STATION
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Karma: The Floating Classroom
TEKS Correlation Barges and Other Floating Objects

We have provided the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) correlation as a guide for your lesson plans. The discovery cruise and classroom activities may
extensions to the activities, may address other TEKS. TEKS are provided by the Texas Education Agency at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/teks/.

4th Grade 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3c, 3d, 4a, 7b, 11b
5th Grade 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3c, 3d, 4a, 7b, 7d
6th Grade 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3c, 3d, 4a, 6a, 7b
7th Grade 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3c, 3d, 4a, 6a, 6b
8th Grade 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3c, 3d, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 5c, 7a
Biology 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3a, 3c
Integrated Physics and Chemistry 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3a, 3c, 4b, 4c, 7a
Environmental Systems 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3a, 3b, 3c, 5b, 7d
Chemistry 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4c
Aquatic Science 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2d, 2e, 3a, 3b, 3c, 8c, 8d, 9a
Physics 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2f, 3a, 3c, 4c, 6a
Science
Geology, Meterology, Oceanography 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 3a, 3c, 11a
4th Grade 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 7c, 8a, 8c, 8d, 13b, 13e, 22b, 22c, 23e, 24a
5th Grade 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 7c, 8b, 8c, 8d, 14b, 14e, 25b, 25c, 26b, 26e, 27a
6th Grade 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4d, 5a, 21b, 21c, 23a
7th Grade 8b, 9a, 9b, 9c, 10b, 21b, 21c, 22b, 23a
8th Grade 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 11c, 12a, 28b, 30b, 30c, 31b, 32a
Social Studies
Geography 1a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, 8a, 8d, 11b, 11c, 21c, 22a, 22d, 23c
4th Grade 1a, 1b, 3a, 4c, 4d, 5a, 5b, 6c, 7, 11a, 12, 14b, 14c, 14d, 15a, 16a
5th Grade 1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 9, 11a, 12b, 15a, 16a
6th Grade 1a, 1c, 2b, 2c, 2d, 4a, 8a, 8b, 10d, 11a, 11b, 11c, 11d, 12a, 13a
7th Grade 1a, 2b, 2f, 2g, 3b, 4b, 7a, 9, 11a, 11b, 13a, 13b, 13c, 13d, 14a, 15a
8th Grade 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 4, 5a, 7d, 11b, 12b, 12c, 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d, 15a, 16a
Algebra I 1b, 1d, 2d
Mathematics
Algebra II 1b
4th Grade 5f, 10a, 10e, 10g, 10f, 10h, 10k, 11a, 11b, 11c, 13b, 13d, 15a, 15c, 18c, 23b
5th Grade 5f, 10a, 10e, 10f, 10g, 10h, 10k, 11a, 11b, 11c, 13b, 13d, 15a, 15c, 18c, 23b
6th Grade 5f, 8d, 9b, 10a, 10e, 10f, 10g, 10h, 10k, 11a, 11b, 11c, 13b, 13d, 15a, 15c, 17f, 22b
7th Grade 5f, 8d, 9b, 10a, 10e, 10f, 10g, 10h, 10k, 11a, 11b, 11c, 13b, 13d, 15a, 15c, 17c, 22b
8th Grade 5f, 8d, 9b, 10a, 10e, 10f, 10g, 10h, 10k, 11a, 11b, 11c, 13b, 13d, 15a, 15c, 17c, 22b
English I 1c, 4a, 4b, 4d, 6b, 7b, 7f, 7g, 7h, 10b, 13c, 13e, 17b
English II 1c, 4a, 4b, 4d, 6b, 7b, 7f, 7g, 10b, 13c, 13e
English III 1c, 4a, 4b, 4d, 4f, 6b, 7b, 7f, 7g, 13c, 13e
English
English IV 1f, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4g, 7b, 8b, 8f, 8g, 11b, 14e, 17b, 17c