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Wacky Water Science (Awesome Summer Science Experiments)

Check in each week at Science Buddies this summer for our Awesome Summer Science Experiments series! Each week, we'll highlight a few activities for awesome science and engineering kids can do at home. We've got a whole summer of fun STEM themes lined up for kids of all ages — for free. This week: make a splash with awesome summer science experiments that involve water!

Submarine for Wacky Water Science Week 8 of Awesome Summer Science with Science Buddies

Awesome Wacky Water Experiments

The activities in Week 8 of our Awesome Summer Science Experiments series feature science and engineering activities related to the design of boats, how submarines work, how water can be moved from one place to another, and how physics explains why poking a hole in a container doesn't necessarily cause a leak. Try these experiments with a large container (or bathtub) of water, or, if it's warm outside, head outdoors to make a splash with some Wacky Water Science fun!

Awesome Summer Science Experiments Week 8: Experiment | Watch | Do More | Kit | Ask | Explore | Read

EXPERIMENT: Wacky Water Science

Toy Sailboat

These toy sailboats are easy to build from corks, but designing a boat that sails well and doesn't tip over easily takes science! Kids can make boats with different numbers of corks and experiment in water to see which ones balance best and what additional design features can improve the boat's stability. What is the keel of a boat and what role does it play?

Waves in a Bottle

Bring the ocean home with a simple model ocean in a plastic bottle and explore the science of waves. How are waves created, and what causes some waves to be fast and some to be slow?

Straw Siphons

Kids can experiment this week with "moving" water from one container to another as they make and try a straw siphon. Be inspired! These kids had fun at home exploring siphons. Tip! For an added challenge, try building a self-starting siphon. Building an Archimedes screw is another class water-moving experiment.

Float Foil Boats

Make simple boats out of aluminum foil and then see how much weight they can hold. What boat design will hold the most weight without sinking? Be inspired! When these kids explored the science of floating with aluminum foil boats, they tried several sizes and designs to see which would hold the most weight.

Holes that Don't Leak

What happens when you poke holes in a plastic bottle full of water? Maybe not what you think! With this experiment, kids put the question to the test and explore the science that helps explain what they observe. How does the position of the holes change what happens? Does the size of the holes matter? Clever kids will quickly see how this experiment can be used to make a simple water toy for hot days!

Recycled Bottle Submarine

Make a submarine from a recycled soda bottle and experiment to see if the submarine works better with or without fins. With a propeller you wind up with a rubber band, this submarine is ready to go in a bathtub or small outdoor pool. What role do the fins play on a submarine?

WATCH: Videos

DO MORE: A Weekend DIY Water Sprinkler Experiment

Sprinkler-type toys can be an exciting way to get "a little" (or a lot) wet. The Build a Water Sprinkler Toy experiment takes some planning and plenty of backyard space, but this is a great way to design your own, custom, life-sized water toy! Families can work together to design and build their sprinkler toy from PVC pipes.

SCIENCE KIT: Bath Bombs

Shell-shaped bath bombs similar to the ones kids can make with the bath bomb science kit

The following Science Buddies Kit fits in with this week's Wacky Water theme:

  • Bath Bomb Science Kit: make your own bath bombs for extra fizzy fun in the bathtub. Make your own to explore the chemistry behind these fizzing balls. What's the secret to making the fizziest ones?

Learn more about Science Buddies Kits and see our 12 Science Kits for Summer Science Experiments and Discovery recommendations.

ASK: Questions

Use these questions to prompt conversation and reflection about the science behind this week's Awesome Summer Science Experiments activities:

  • What science principles come into play in how a boat floats in water?
  • What design changes can make a difference in a boat's ability to stay upright in water?
  • Even if two objects look similar, why might one of them sink and one of them float?
  • What happens to the height of water in a container when an object is submerged in the water?

EXPLORE: STEM Careers

After trying this week's summer science experiments, kids can learn more about related science and engineering careers, like:

READ: Books

Pair picture and story books like these with this week's Awesome Summer Science Experiments explorations.

Papa's Mechanical Fish cover The Antlered Ship cover Ocean Meets Sky cover Edison cover Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle cover Ocean Speaks cover Shark Lady cover Manfish cover Whoosh cover Movin' and Shakin' Projects cover The Girl With a Mind for Math cover Swimming with the Sharks cover

For more suggestions for science-themed summer reading, see our Summer Reading List. Also, don't miss this roundup of creative STEM activities for storytelling and imaginative play.

Bookmark Awesome Summer Science Experiments Week 8: Wacky Water

Aluminum foil boat, cork sailboat, bottle submarine, straw siphon, and bottle with pushpins poked through for Wacky Water Week 8 - part of Awesome Summer Science Experiments series

10 Weeks of Awesome Summer Science Experiments

Follow the full summer series on the Awesome Summer Science Experiments page!

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