Pot-Pot boats and speed.
For this exercise you will need a length of guttering or access to a drinking basin that can hold water. You will also need a stop-watch.

Pot-Pot boats can generate a great deal of speed, once the fuel is burning hot. Click to see a 120kb movie of a Pot-Pot boat at full steam.

Racing Pot-Pot boats can be very exciting. Obtain a length of guttering as shown on the left. Seal off both ends and fill the gutter with water. Measure the length of the gutter and time the Pot-Pot boats over this distance.

Think of ingenious ways to stop your pot-pot boat from striking the walls of the gutter and losing speed.

Name of group
Time taken (1)
Time taken (2)
Average time taken
Distance covered

The distance should be measured at the start and will be the same for all groups. The time is measured by two time keepers and the average time is recorded.

To calculate the speed, we divide the distance covered by the pot-pot boat, in metres, by the time taken in seconds. This will give us the speed of the boat in metres per second.

The boat with the highest speed wins.

A drinking basin, such as the one on the left will suffice if no guttering can be found. Most schools have access to these and can easily be blocked with a simple plug.

Click to see a 120kb movie of the gutter set-up in a classroom.

Continue with flotation of the Pot-Pot boat

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