Ships and Boats
Science Fair Projects
Ideas and Sample Projects by Grade Level

Primary School - Grades K-3
P=Project   E=Experiment
Design and build your own rubber band paddle boat. [E]
Build boats with different hull shapes out of milk cartons and test them with sand bags to see which hull is the strongest. [P] [P]
Investigate different foot adaptations of water birds to see if they increase the speed of swimming. [E]
Test if different volumes of air will cause a balloon powered hovercraft to travel for longer periods of time. [E]
Aviation & Aerodynamics Science Fair Projects and Experiments
Interdisciplinary Topic: Transportation
Elementary School - Grades 4-6
P=Project   E=Experiment
Determine the ballast weight required to stabilize sailboats of different heights. [E]
At What Diameter Does an Aluminum Boat Sink? [E]
Design Your Own Milk Carton Boat [E]
Investigate how submarines use propellers and stabilizing fins to move forward. [E]
Investigate how submarines dive and surface by changing their buoyancy. [E]
Determine how much weight can be supported by boat hulls of various volumes. [E]
The effect of a boat hull shape on speed through water [E] [P]
Build a real working hovercraft [E]
Aviation & Aerodynamics Science Fair Projects and Experiments
Interdisciplinary Topic: Transportation
Middle School - Grades 7-9
P=Project   E=Experiment
Squid-Jet, a bio-inspired underwater vehicle that uses jet propulsion [P] [P]
Factors That Affect a Hovercraft's Speed [E]
Titanic�s sinking physics. [P]
Test ordinary objects for their aerodynamic and hydrodynamic properties by measuring the amount of drag they have. [E]
Build a fin (bilge keel) that is best at keeping a boat from rocking. [E]
Build a Gyroscope-based Water Vessel Stabilizer [E]
Determine how changing the size of ellipsoids along one axis changes the speed at which they fall through liquids of varying viscosity and how the non-spheroid ellipsoids are inputted into Stokes' Formula for calculating viscosity. [E]
The effects of drain size, depth of liquid, flow rate, inclusion of a solid object and viscosity of liquid on the size and strength of a whirlpool. [E]
How the salinity of water influences the travel of a torpedo? [E]
See if the density of a liquid exerts the same resistance to flow as the liquid's viscosity. [E]
Investigate how the shape of a boat hull affects the drag force on the boat as it moves through the water. [E]

Measure how the tilt angle of cylinders floating in water depends on the aspect ratio (length/diameter) of the cylinder. [E]
Hovercraft Engineering: Maximizing Engine Thrust [E]
Compare the forces on the Main sail and Jib sail of a CFJ sail boat in different wind conditions and directions to see if the forces are consistently proportionally to the difference in the surface area of the two sails. [E]
See which shape (circle, triangle, or square) would travel the farthest distance when propelled through water. [E]
Determine what sail shape, a triangle, square, rectangle or trapezoid will produce the fastest run for a "Land Yacht." [E] [E] [E]
How does the weight and hull shape of an object affect its sinking rate through water? [P]
Do Blade Angles and Number of Blades on a Propeller Change the Speed of a Hovercraft? [E]
Explore The Hydrodynamics of Boat Hulls [E]
Determing if changing a sail's depth or camber would affect how well the wing went upwind. [E] [P]
Aviation & Aerodynamics Science Fair Projects and Experiments
Interdisciplinary Topic: Transportation
High School - Grades 10-12
P=Project   E=Experiment
Improvement of the speed and safety of sailboats using canting keels [P] [P]
Determine whether the biofouling of boat materials (fiberglass) could be avoided by the use of natural substances such as lime juice and olive oil when mixed with latex paint. [E]
The Efficiency of Fin Shapes of Members of the Scombroidei Sub-Order as Modeled by Mechanical Analogs [E]
The effect of solutes on drag in an aqueous solution. [E]
Build an ultra-simple hovercraft [E] [E]
Investigate buoyancy considerations in submarine building [E] [E] [E]
Explore the effect of a ship's hull material on its drag. [E]
The Robins-Magnus Effect and the Effect of Traversing Different Fluid Media on the Velocity of a Rotating Solid Sphere [E] [E] [E]
Investigate the possible application of airfoil wing shapes to hydrofoil craft to reduce drag when in the water. [E] [E] [E]
Aviation & Aerodynamics Science Fair Projects and Experiments
Interdisciplinary Topic: Transportation
R=Resource
Science Fair Projects Resources [R]
Citation Guides, Style Manuals, Reference [R]
Safety Resources [R] [R]
Engineering Science Fair Books

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