Greetings Team Managers!

Below is another Instant Challenge for you to practice with your teams. A few notes (for your eyes only) of ways you can adjust the challenge follow it below! Have fun!

Don’t Give Up the Ship!

CHALLENGE:  Your TASK is to build a device that will float and hold golf balls.

TASK:  Use the materials listed to construct a device capable of floating and keeping golf balls dry.

TIME:   You will have 5 minutes in Part 1 to develop your idea and test your device.  You will then have 1 minute for scoring in Part 2.

SET UP: There are also 4 golf balls and a tub full of water.  Your challenge is to build a device that will float, and then hold golf balls and remain floating on the water.  At the end of Part 1, you must remove the device from the tub of water and put it in the taped box. At the beginning of part 2, you may move the device from the box into the tub.  If your device floats for 10 or more seconds, your device will get 30 points for floating.  You can then add golf balls, one at a time, until the device sinks or time runs out.


one piece of foil    12” X 12”

2 tongue depressors/craft sticks

1 sheet of paper

4 labels

2 corks

4 straws

4 paper clips

Scoring: You will receive 30 points for a device that floats for 10 seconds in part 2,

5 points for each golf ball that the device holds (maximum 20 points)

Up to 20 points for the creativity of your floating device

Up to 30 points for how well your team works together.


  • You can use Ping-Pong Balls which are much lighter if you choose. This might be more appropriate for an Elementary Level (EL) level team.
  • You can allow the team to leave the device in the tub and add the golf balls instead of pulling it out and putting it back in at the beginning of Part #2. The reasoning behind having to take it out and put it in is to make a device that is not so fragile it can not be removed, put in the taped box, then put in the tub for scoring. Since having a floating device for 10 seconds is worth 30 points, there should be some degree of difficulty.
  • You can add two craft sticks/depressors to make the Challenge a little simpler; having only two causes them to have to use unlike materials to complete the task.