Senior Activity: Will it Float?
Fun Science Activity for a Senior Activity Program
One of my favorite segments on The Late Show with Dave Letterman was always Will It Float?, and I have reproduced the fun of this segment with my seniors, and we had a blast.
Will it Float? is a great activity for several reasons. First off, there is the element of surprise. You may have lived on this earth a good long time, but you can still be surprised by how a bag of popcorn behaves in water!
This program will also get the seniors talking and debating. Everyone has their own opinion about what will happen. And lastly, it's just silly. Silly is always fun.
It's All About the Presentation
You don't want Will it Float? to become a boring science class.
Letterman knew the key to making this entertaining - the girls putting on a show next to the tank. You will need to have your own show happening to keep this light and fun.
By no means am I recommending that you swallow flames or hold a circular sander against a metal chest plate, but you can make it fun by putting on a spectacle.
What we did was attach ribbons to the ends of two light up wands. Dressed it a pretty silly outfit, I swung my arms about and ran in place, singing "Will it Float? Will it Float?" in a far-too-excited manner. I did it just before every test, and each time I had the crowd roaring. Did I look insane? Yes. Was it effective? Absolutely.
Silly Wands for Will It Float Assistant
Yogurt cupTube of toothpaste
Bar of Dove soap
Bag of marshmallows
A small watermelon
Container of Vaseline
A bottle of vegetable oil (still in the bottle)
Aluminum foil (flat or in a ball)
a bunch of bananas
bag of birdseed
a bag of coffee
a bamboo cutting board
a bag of unpopped popcorn
Some Items to Test for Buoyancy
Can of soda
Can of diet soda
Bottle of perfume
Stick of pepperoni
Can of Crisco
Bag of cat litter
Bag of flour
A pound of pizza dough
A bag of walnuts
Plastic bottle of maple syrup
Jar of peanut butter
Brick of tofu
Box of wine
A pillar candle
A cotton ball
Letterman's Will It Float?
Letterman's Will It Float Results
- Items Featured on Letterman's Will it Float?
This is a complete list of all 203 installments of Will it Float on Letterman.
Make It A Game
You can make Will It Float? a team or individual game by simply keeping score. Keep track of people's predictions and if they are correct, they get a point. This may spark their competitive side to help to get everyone into it.
A fish tank is ideal for your "Will it Float?" activity as it is see through and you can place it on a table to be best visible by the audience. A ten-gallon tank is large enough for easily visible items (like a brick of cheese).
I recommend asking around your facility to see if anyone has a tank you can use to cut on costs. It's amazing how many people have a fish tank in their basement or garage. You can also check craigslist for a cheap used one.