|See For Yourself How FLIP Works and Why It Is Special!
Follow these directions to make a working scale model of Scripps Institution's Floating Instrument Platform and a regular surface boat so you can compare how they behave at sea.
What You Will Need:
FLIP: drinking straw, toothpick, clear tape, clay or Play-Doh, salt, permanent marker, two paper plates
BOAT: cork cut in half as shown, toothpick
TANK: 2-liter soda bottle with top cut off, or an old aquarium, or a bucket.
What To Do:
Understanding Your Results:
Science Lessons: Try floating FLIP in different liquids like salt water, vinegar, or vegetable oil. Is the waterline mark above or below the surface? What would happen if FLIP drifted from the salt water of the ocean into the fresh water of a river flowing to the ocean?
Engineering Lessons: There are many kinds of models. Because your model is smaller than the real FLIP, it is a scale model. Because it behaves in the same way, it is a working model. A computer simulation is an animation based on rules given a computer. Check out the FLIP computer simulation on the How FLIP Works page. How does it compare to your physical working model?
Advantages of FLIP: Scientists doing sound-in-the-sea experiments like using FLIP; it is a lot quieter than other boats because it doesn't move so much. Scientists who study surface waves prefer FLIP because it gives them an experimental platform that is not affected by what they are trying to measure.