Paddle Boat STEM Activity
- Plastic Bottle (We used a plastic bottle that had four flat sides.)
- Two Wooden Chopsticks
- Plastic Milk Jug
- Duct Tape
- Rubber band (We used a thick medium sized rubber band)
- Packing Tape
Build a Paddle Boat
Cut out four rectangular pieces out of the plastic milk jug. The pieces need to be 2 inches by 3 inches long. You will want to use a pencil to draw your squares onto the milk jug. That will help you cut out rectangles with straight sides. The pencil lines will be easy to erase once you have cut out your rectangles.
Each of the rectangles will then be folded in half. You will then duct tape one side a rectangle to the side of another rectangle to create a cross shape. You could create the cross shape and then tape the sides together. We found that taping one set of sides at a time worked for us.
Now you will be attaching the chopsticks to opposite sides of the bottle. You will attach the chopsticks about ¾ of the way down the bottle with packing tape. You will want at least 3 or 4 inches of each of the chopsticks to hang off the back of the bottle. When you have the chopsticks right where you want them to be, you will wrap duct tape around the area where the strapping tape is.
Attach the rubber band to the chopsticks. It should fit perfectly. You don’t want it to be stretched out.
Finally you slide two blades of the paddle through the rubber band.
Science for Kids- Things to Observe
- See if winding the paddle forward makes it go forward.
- See if winding the paddle backwards makes it backward.
- See if moving the rubber band closer to the boat makes a difference it how it moves.
- See how many times you can wind up the paddle in the rubber band. Decide if it makes a difference in how long it moves.
Don’t let the fun and discovery stop there!
We have TONS of science experiments your kids will love on our Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids page!
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Kenna McHugh says
Nice project. I write for an after school care program and really want to use your photos. I hope you don’t mind.
Megan Sheakoski says
Hi Kenna! You can use one photo with a link back to the post for the instructions. Thanks!
Matthew Edwards says
Hi Megan, just a small edit. You typed “think rubber band” instead of “thick”.
Megan Sheakoski says
S Johnson says
Awesome post. I plan on building one for my nephew and niece later today.
Just a hint though, for a faster boat, use a coke bottle or something with “more rounded” edges.
Keep up the good work tho!