Penny Boat Challenge Grades 6-12

Governed by Tau Beta Pi
Contact Info: Amy.Curry@memphis.edu

Competitors are working to determine whether the shape of a boat can affect how much weight it holds
– specifically, a foil boat holding pennies! 


• Work individually or in groups of 2-3. 
• Each will be given a square of aluminum foil (size 8" by 8")  and a certain number of pennies. 
• Groups/Individuals are to construct a boat out of the foil to hold as many pennies as possible
without sinking. Each boat will be made from only one of the foil squares.
• Boats will be tested in a tub of water, one penny at a time. The boat must float for five seconds 
before that penny addition is counted as successful. 
• Water entering the boat or the boat touching the bottom of the tub is considered sinking.
• The last penny added before the sinking doesn’t count toward the penny total.
• The group with the most pennies wins!

It is suggested that groups sketch out ideas.