STEAM@Home: Sink or Float Science

By Cambridge STEAM Initiative

What are some things that sink?
What are some things that float?
Experiment, observe, and explore!
Find a spot where you can make a wet mess. Gather your materials. Go!

One floating orange and one sunken peeled orange in a glass of water
This is an ongoing program.

Ages 4 to 10.


Barb MacEachern
Program Quality Manager, Cambridge STEAM Initiative
Sharlene Yang
Director, Cambridge STEAM Initiative

No application or registration needed.



  • Only virtual (online or over the phone).

At home, in a place where you can make a wet mess (kitchen, bathroom, outside)

Additional information


Activity Set Up:

Find a spot either inside or outdoors where you can make a wet mess. Fill a small container with water (a clear container if you have one) OR fill the kitchen sink half-way with water and use a chair or stool so your child can comfortably reach the sink.

Tips for Supporting Your Children's Learning

Get your child actively involved in their own learning and having their questions drive the learning. Let them observe and figure out, and try to hold back from answering questions for them. Instead, try to ask: What do we know? What else can we find out? How might we figure that out? Don't be afraid to ask your child questions.  Also, don't be afraid to say "I don't know--let's find out together!" as a way to respond to their questions.  Here's an article to help you support this kind of learning:  Of the Value of Saying I Don’t Know

This activity supports the practice of these STEAM Habits of Mind: Develop craft, engage & persist, observe, reflect, stretch & explore.


Want to learn more about why things float or Sink?

More hands on activities and learning opportunities:

More STEAM@Home suggestions!