Discover Primary Science – D053 – Step 1 & 3 & 4- Science & Engineering & Maths-How to Design a Boat to Float! – Mr O’ Neachtain’s Second Class

DESIGN A BOAT – Engineering and Design

Mr Ó Neachtain’s 2nd Class were busy designing a boat that would stay up in water. We also experimented with adding passengers to our boats in the form of peas and the children made predictions about who’s boat would be most successful. We used lots of our learning from the curriculum including Maths, Art and Design and Science and applied it to the experiment.


Children made predictions about what was needed to design a boat with plasticine. See below . Some predictions were correct and as occurs in science some predictions were off but the children had great discussion on where there predictions were a little off.

Main Investigation:

Children were given their materials to work with in pairs and after limited instruction set off on creating their boats.

Outcomes findings.

The children initially thought that the bigger their boat and the more plasticine material they used would achieve a quality boat that would carry maximum passengers. They soon realised that by reducing slightly the amount of material and spreading their boat out to displace more water they found that their boats could take more passengers (peas).

Link to Maths:
Strand: Measure – Weight
Strand: Space and Shape

During the investigation and in order to make it a fair test we measured on a scale an even amount of plasticine for each pair. It was great to see that the children were applying the language of math during the investigation and had great fun measuring their quantities in advance of designing their boat.
Children could also be heard in the design stage discussing different 3D shapes when they were sketching out their initial designs.


Pupils in their copies first drew a sketch of their boat design. They satisfied that it was a fair test. They made predictions and they recorded their outcomes.

All in all it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

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