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Forces and Motion
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How Does Your Boat Float?



How Does Your Boat Float?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.85

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    displace, buoyancy, filling, explanation, generally, density, unit, definition, mass, volume, cargo, contents, material, increase, scientist, divide


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How Does Your Boat Float?
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     How does your boat float? About two thousand years ago, a Greek scientist named Archimedes figured out the answer to that question. Since then, the information has become known as Archimedes' Principle.
 
2     You might think that the explanation has a lot to do with weight. After all, heavy rocks sink, right? And light objects like feathers float. Even though that is generally true, the explanation of what makes an object float actually has more to do with density than with weight. It also has to do with another important scientific concept called buoyancy.
 
3     Density and buoyancy - exactly what do those terms mean?
 
4     Density means the mass of an object per unit of volume. It takes into account not only the weight of an object but also its size. So a block of steel will have more density than a ship made of that same amount of steel.

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