Sailing Ships and Sinking Spoons – STEM Lessons in buoyancy

lessons in buoyancy children's picture bookIn Sailing Ships and Sinking Spoons – lessons in buoyancy, Tenzin and Tashi, two young Tibetan monks, and Genla, the beloved storyteller of the monastery, wonder why a small steel spoon sinks in water but a huge ship floats. Their science teacher Miss Sonam helps them experiment with an apple, a spoon and a tub-full of water to learn more about objects that float.

In this level 3 book from Storyweaver, we learn important lessons about buoyancy.

Sample text from Sailing Ships and Sinking Spoons – Lessons in buoyancy

Tenzin and Tashi were two young Tibetan monks. They lived in a small monastery on a beautiful green hill. Here, it was lovely when it rained.
When Tashi looked out of the window late one morning, the rain was coming down hard. Rivulets were forming where the water had made paths on the muddy road. Tashi couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon than sailing paper boats.
Tashi and Tenzin set about making many paper boats. As soon as it stopped raining, the boys ran outside. They sailed the paper boats they had made – some big, some small. The boats floated nicely along the path. The two young monks were happy.

As they trotted back home, they saw Gen Lobsang. Genla lived in the monastery and told the children the most wonderful stories. “Genla,” shouted Tenzin. “Can you tell us a story about why boats float?”
Gen Lobsang thought for a minute and said, “I don’t know why boats – or ships, for that matter – float. But I am curious to find out.”

Genla: A polite way of addressing the teacher in Tibetan

Genla and the children decided to go and ask Miss Sonam, the science teacher, if she knew why boats float. Tenzin and Tashi gently pulled Gen Lobsang from his chair. They held his hands to help him walk.

When they reached her room, Miss Sonam was reading a book.

“Tashi delek,” said Genla, Tashi and Tenzin. “Tashi delek,” she replied.
“We have a question for you,” said Genla.

Tashi delek: A common Tibetan greeting; tashi means ‘good fortune’ and delek means ‘well being’.

<End of Page 3 Sailing Ships and Sinking Spoons – Lessons in buoyancy>

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Read along with the video of Sailing Ships and Sinking Spons, read by Kiwi Opa:

This book is a creative commons book (CC-BY-SA) featuring Tibetan culture and STEM lessons in buoyancy from Pratham’s Storyweaver platform.

If you’re looking for more STEM books, see our Science and Maths categories.

More non-fiction books are available in our Non-fiction Category.

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