Above-Ground Storage Tank Design Project

The challenge: determine whether a tank will float. A design activity has groups work as engineering teams in order to determine the stability of given tanks and liquid contents. The teams need to determine the equations to calculate the stability of their tanks. Afterward, the teams must come up with improved tank designs and present their new designs to the class.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Invite design engineers to come listen to the group presentations
Classroom Considerations
  • Class should understand Pascal's Law, Archimedes' Principle, and density
  • The activity relies on the information provided in The Physics of Fluid Mechanics and Above-Ground Storage Tanks in the Houston Ship Channel lessons
  • The final activity in a series of six
  • The answer key provides examples of mistakes pupils might make
  • Provides different challenges for each group
  • None