Click below to read a summary of the Water project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here .
Design and test a simple hydrometer and investigate the effect of salinity on the Plimsoll line
In 1876 Samuel Plimsoll persuaded Parliament to pass the Merchant Shipping Act. This required the 'Plimsoll Line' to be painted on the side of every ship to mark its load line. This line would disappear below the water if the ship was overloaded. ‘Plimsoll Lines’ are still used today.
Design a bridge and test its strength using scale models
Design a pontoon to provide a jetty for a watersports club
Building a permanent jetty can cause damage to the marine environment and vulnerable banks. It is also expensive as a jetty has to withstand wind, flood conditions and impact as well as the cost of building a structure in water. Another drawback is that a jetty is permanent and clubs sometimes like to move their access point to suit their activities and to limit erosion on the approach.
For this project you will research, design and model a bridge. Start by carrying out some research into different types of bridge. Find out about the materials they are made from and the forces that act on them. Try to find different examples of bridge types in your local area, so you can visit them. Find out about bridge disasters – why did they collapse? Could it have been prevented? You could try to model an improved bridge to replace a real one. Contact a local civil engineer to ask for advice about bridge designs and to help with your research.