Introduction: Soap Powered Boat

What you will need:

-Foam (like a styrofoam plate)

-Cookie sheet or large bowl


-Liquid dish soap



-Decorations (optional)

Step 1:

First, draw a boat with a marker and then cut it out of foam, like a styrofoam plate or the kind meat comes in. It should be about 2 inches long and It should look like the picture above.

Step 2:

Next, pour a small amount of dish soap into a cup or bowl.

Step 3:

Get some liquid dish soap on the toothpick and use the toothpick to apply some soap to the triangular notch at the back of the boat.

Step 4:

Fill the cookie sheet or bowl with water

Step 5:

Place the boat onto the surface of the water and watch it move around for several seconds.

Step 6: Decorations

You can decorate your boat with markers, paper, or even something you designed in Tinkercad. The decorations should be small and light so that they don't tip over the boat, or make it sink. An example of a decoration you can make in Tinkercad is a miniature flag or logo for your boat, like the picture above.

Step 7: Why Does It Work?

Since soap is a surfactant, it breaks down the tension in the water. This creates enough force for the lightweight boat to be pushed across the water.

Step 8: About This Project

This is a good science project because it helps you learn about force and chemical reactions. The chemical reaction is the soap in the water. The soap breaks down the tension and the reaction is the boat moving. The force is the soap and water reaction having enough force to push the boat across the water. This lab is meant for kids in 3rd to 5th grade.

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