STEM Activity Boat Design Challenge

Rated 4.94 out of 5, based on 44 reviews
44 Ratings
Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
Grade Levels
3rd - 7th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
45 pages
List Price:
You Save:
List Price:
You Save:
Share this resource
Report this resource to TPT
Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
Also included in
  1. This STEM bundle includes activities that guide students through the engineering design process, while exploring engineering disciplines such as mechanical engineering, materials exploration, optical engineering, invention and design, and structural engineering. Students will develop various prototy
    Price $16.00Original Price $27.50Save $11.50
  2. This bundle includes resources to keep your students actively engaged in STEM all year long. The bonus file includes an overview for using the resources as well as some extra options for planning, recording, and tracking.There are over 90 STEM challenges included in this bundle.1) Start with the ST
    Price $132.00Original Price $256.00Save $124.00
  3. Elementary STEM teachers, this bundle has hundreds of activities (300+!) for your STEM classes! With a mix of quick STEM challenges, STEM center activities, and more in depth engineering design challenges, you will always have something new to do!This bundle includes everything in both the K-2 and 3
    Price $207.20Original Price $404.50Save $197.30


STEM challenge : boats (engineering challenge #4: Design a Cargo Ship). This STEM activity provides a great introduction to the Engineering Design Process. While learning about density, buoyancy, and the Archimedes' principle, your students will construct their own cargo ship and see how much mass they can support. The warm up science experiment provides a hands-on exploration of density. After completing the challenge, there are differentiated math extension activities.

This activity helps teachers integrate science into a number of social studies units, including Native Americans (canoes), Westward Migration (canal ships), or even as a fun add on when learning about the Mayflower. Students will use higher order thinking skills as they design and improve their boat. This STEM activity can be used as part of a STEAM program, GATE class, or as a stand-alone lesson. STEM activities are wonderful avenues to gain real world soft skills such as perseverance, leadership, and teamwork.

If you have already purchased one of my other engineering design challenges, please visit this page.

These challenges use common items you likely already have in your classroom or can easily obtain: aluminum foil, mallet, cardboard, plastic wrap, water, a bin, masses (pennies work well), tape.


For the teacher (6 pages):

• Designing a Cargo Ship: Overview (2 pages)

• Planning time line

• Introduction to Engineering for Students

• Design Criteria page

• Performance rubric

For the students (20+ pages):

• Introduction to Density, Buoyancy, and Archimedes' Principle

• Warm-up activities (3 pages, includes differentiation)

• Testing data sheet

• Design a Cargo Ship book (10 page book, or 2 page paper-saving option)

• Follow-up activities (5 pages, metric and imperial, 2 levels)

• Certificates of Completion, color and b&w included

• Blank cover page to use for additional engineering challenges

• Answer Keys (2 pages)

• Credits

There are duplicate copies of a page to include spelling of favorite (favourite). This activity does not use length measurements so is suitable for both imperial and metric systems.

Please Note: You do not have to purchase these engineering design challenges in order. They are all self-contained. If you purchase this one first, you can purchase any of the other add on packs (see below) for more challenges!

*************************** Related Resources *************************

Engineering Design Process Posters

Engineering Discipline Posters

Engineering Posters BUNDLE

10 STEM Challenges You Can do Today

STEM Challenges Classroom Pack (STEAM)

Engineering Design Challenges (initial purchase)

Engineering Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device

Engineering Design Challenge #2 - Design a Power Transmission Tower

Engineering Design Challenge #3 - Design a Periscope

Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship

STEM Engineering Design Challenge #5 - Design a Fidget Spinner

Engineering Design Challenges BUNDLE

Engineering Design Challenge ADD ON PACKS (subsequent purchase)

Engineering Design Challenge #1 - Design a Transport Device ADD ON PACK

Engineering Design Challenge #2 - Design a Transmission Tower ADD ON PACK

Engineering Design Challenge #3 - Design a Periscope ADD ON PACK

Engineering Design Challenge #4 - Design a Cargo Ship ADD ON PACK


Disclaimer: I have done my best to keep these as safe as possible. However, please make sure that you do your own due diligence when performing any STEM challenge. Adult supervision is necessary. Please use care, caution, and your best judgement when performing any STEM challenge, engineering challenge, or science experiment. The seller disclaims all liability for any damage or injury which might arise from the use of any of these projects.

Total Pages
45 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Report this resource to TPT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TPT’s content guidelines.


Questions & Answers


TPT empowers educators to teach at their best.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up