Cork raft challenge

Living / 5 July, 2023 / Nanny Anita

STEM Activity: Cork Raft Challenge

EC is really into his STEM projects and loves to build things. This week I set a cork raft challenge for him (and of course YC); to see who could build a cork raft out of the material we had. And whose could stay afloat the longest in the bath with a figure on it.

Make sure you follow my STEM board on Pinterest for more ideas. Don’t forget to save the pin for later.

You will need:

  • Corks
  • Cardboard
  • Elastic bands
  • Toothpicks
  • Crayons

These are the things we used to make our cork raft challenge, but you could anything else to that list. The only thing I said no to when they asked was tape. Mainly because the moment it gets wet it would lose its stick.

I set them a story that they were Bear Grylls and had been stranded on a desert island. In order to get off they have to build a raft that was not only sea worthy but could also survive an attack from Godzilla, a.k.a BB.

cork raft challenge

Both EC and YC set about their tasks, with no help from me. Although YC did drop lots of hints that she couldn’t build it.

cork raft challenge

Godzilla (a.k.a BB) stealing our Bear Grylls.

BB totally wanted in on the action and kept trying to steal our Bear Grylls figure which was actually his Noah happy land person.

cork raft challenge

EC securing his corks to his raft using toothpicks.

I think they would have spent a lot longer making these had I let them. All in all they spent around 40 minutes on it. EC added lots of anti Godzilla spikes to his cork raft.

The Cork Raft Challenge

In the end we decided to test out our rafts after everyone had their baths rather than during it. I didn’t fancy the idea of BB being hurt with the spikes.

cork raft challenge

Poor Bear didn’t make it with YC’s raft.

YC’s raft started out well but unfortunately she placed Bear in the wrong spot and it tipped the raft over. EC’s and my raft managed to make it through the first stage.

cork raft challenge

The second stage consisted of me making gentle waves in the bath and gradually building it up to Hurricane status. Although both EC’s and my raft survived (sort of) the Hurricane, unfortunately our Bear didn’t. Both times he fell over board. With mine I had used an elastic band to keep him securely on board, but that just caused the raft to capsize.

We all certainly had a good laugh during this experiment. EC didn’t want to part with his raft just yet. It is currently sitting in the bathroom awaiting its next adventure.

If you enjoyed this cork raft challenge be sure to check out my egg drop challenge, Lego challenge or my water refraction experiment.

Pin for later:

Can you build a raft that would carry a small toy across a bath in this Cork Raft Challenge. Use household items to complete this fun and engaging STEM activity.

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