‘Floating Gardens’ Science Workshop

In Bangaldesh the farmers have had to adapt their farming techniques due to flooding.  The crops die when they are under water so they have made pontoons that are approximately 1m by 8m.  These pontoons float when the water rises and they are layered to ensure they are as stable as possible.  The farmers grow all sorts of crops on them.  In some instances you will see livestock on the pontoons when they float but you need to be careful they don’t eat all the crops!

Floating Garden Images

At Belvidere we ‘pretended’ we were scientists and engineers and we were given the task of creating a model that floats, has stability and will take a given weight.  Our pontoons had to measure 20cm x 20cm max.  We had half an hour and lots of resources.  After our time we tested the floating gardens in a test tank.  Mr Applegate (Belvidere Science Teacher) added weights and recorded the results.  He ensured the test was fair and that each raft fulfilled as much of the criteria as possible.


Results Table

Team Did it float? What weight could it hold?
1 Yes 700g – 2nd
2 Yes 500g
3 Yes 600g – joint 3rd
4 Yes 800g – 1st
5 Yes 600g – joint 3rd
6 Yes 500g
7 Yes Disqualified – model was too large and it clamped to the side of the tank