Nagoya International School

Elementary Inquiry Questions

Q: What makes the boat strong enough to float?


In their UOI “How the World Works,” Gr. 1 students explored the various properties of different materials and why we use certain materials for specific purposes.


A boy touching a bicycle helmet with other boys around him
Boys filling out data on sheets of paper

They started by looking at the objects around them and what purpose they have to understand why the materials are chosen. They also searched for things around the school and noticed they are often made from more than one material.

Then, they started investigating the properties of various materials. With the help of the Secondary Science Department, they conducted some experiments. They tested if certain materials are conductive or not conductive using a circuit. Also, they tested which objects were flexible and bendy and which were not. They did experiments to see if various liquids such as water, hand soap, and milk freeze.

Boys conducting experiment with a circuit
Boys and girls discussing with a tape measure on a table
Boys looking at an ice cube tray


While doing experiments, they also learned to make predictions before testing, recording data, and analyzing results.

Finally, they made a boat and tested to see if it floats or sinks, and then added some weight to see how strong they were. Reflecting on the results, they came up with some improvements and tested them again!

Watch the video of their experiment!