Apple boats are fun and easy to make. Most importantly, they let you discover whether or not an apple will sink or float in water. This is a great STEM activity for the fall!
Do apples sink or float in water?
For some things like a ball or a coin, it may be more obvious if they sink or float. However, some fruits like apples may surprise you!
This simple apple sink or float experiment is perfect for the fall season and so easy to do. We crafted different apple boats and had a lot of fun trying to keep the boats afloat in the water.
How to Make Apple Boats
- Paper (we used origami paper)
- Large plastic container
1. Fill the large plastic container about ¾ full with water.
2. Drop an entire apple in the water. Does it sink or float? Feel free to try different types of apples to see if they all float or sink!
3. Cut up the apple into different size pieces.
4. Cut “sails” out of paper. Be creative and decorate your sails or make them in different shapes!
5. Stick a toothpick through the paper sail, one hole near the bottom, one hole on near the top.
6. Insert the toothpick sails into the apple pieces.
7. Place the apple boats into the water and see if they will float!
Since the apple sink or float experiment is so simple, it’s the perfect opportunity to go through the scientific method with your child. Your kids can record their hypothesis and observation in this Apple Sink or Float Worksheet. There is also a sheet where your kids can draw their apple boats and write down if they floated or not.
For all of you wonderful teachers, the free apple STEM activity printable includes a recording sheet where you can log all of your students’ predictions on whether apples float or sink and tally them up. Did the majority of the class get it right?
The apple boat activity turned out to be super fun for the kids. They loved creating their own apple boats. We tried apple pieces of different sizes and shapes. We used different colored papers for the sails. The kids thought it was hilarious whenever an apple boat capsized in the water.
We noticed that if you include the apple core as part of the boat, then the core part tends to flip downward into the water. Does that mean the apple core by itself would sink in water? More experiment is necessary to find out!
Science Behind the Apple Sink or Float Activity
Drumroll please … apples float! Fresh apples consist of about 25% of air, and that’s enough to make them buoyant. The apples are less dense than water, and therefore they can float.
For more educational apple activities, check out: