Chesapeake – Jodie Love, the Virginia Port Authority's community relations coordinator, on Nov. 18 presented to the Western Branch Middle School CHROME Club, (Cooperating Hampton Roads Organization for Minorities in Engineering, Inc.). Her presentation included a brief interactive presentation on the port and Craney Island, followed by a question-and-answer session, some games and prizes and a science experiment based on the Archimedes principle of buoyancy.
For the experiment the students separated into groups and were given modeling clay, marbles, a bucket of water and a five-inch diameter bowl. They were asked to put the mass of clay into the water, watch it sink and then measure the water displacement created by the mass of clay. They then shaped a vessel out of the clay to represent a cargo ship and placed it in a bucket of water to see that it floated, again measuring the water displacement.
The students then loaded the clay cargo ship with containers (marbles) to see how many it would hold before sinking. The students then "re-engineered" their vessels to see if they could come up with ideas to hold more containers and boy did they ever: The winning team was able to load 31 marbles into their vessel before it sank.