Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Also available in: bg es it lv pl ro sk en fb


Homepage > Experiences > Teachers Experiences


Title of the Experience
Archimedes' principle
Name of the teacher
Mercé Pérez Santamaría
Country where it took place
School typology
High Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Main difficult in learning or teaching science at school.
• Pre-conceived ideas of concepts and physical magnitudes, Physics of common sense (Aristotelian), which are difficult to change in favor of understanding the Newtonian physics.
• Confusion between words of everyday language and the meaning of these terms in physics. For example, pressure, force, work ...
• Lack of math skills.
• Poor formalization of physics formulas. Confusion between the physical quantities and the relationship between them

Please provide an example of a personal experience and the solution you applied.
To explain Archimedes' principle (It indicates that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces) and clarify and strengthen the concept of force we make a simple laboratory experience where students work in groups of two. Students work as follows:
• Students calculate the weight of a body from the measurement of their mass.
• The body is introduced into a measuring cylinder and the weight of the body in the water and the volume of displaced water were measured.
• The weight of water displaced is estimated
• He finds that the weight of the body out of the water corresponds to the body out of the water plus the weight of the displaced volume of water.

If applicable, please try to highlight how the chosen solution increased the interest of the student towards science.
Laboratory experiences usually like a lot to the students because they represent a change in their school routine and increase their motivation. Experiences, especially in the first years of secondary, I think should be simple so that students are able to draw conclusions for themselves and check the physical principles that aim. These practices make them reflect on the theoretical concepts and draw conclusions from their experience. Increasing their understanding of the laws of physics and their motivation in science learning.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

In order to post a comment it is compulsory to be logged in.

Date: 2014.10.16

Posted by Milena Gosheva (Bulgaria)

The laboratory exercise, which is described is simple and fully illustrates the law of Archimedes. It is applicable in the work of each teacher in physics. What is required is only a scale,a body and measuring cup with water ... nothing special. Work in pairs allows teamwork, ensures that mass of the body and volume are correctly measured. Accumulated knowledge of the students is used to convert one unit to another, and applying formulas.

Date: 2014.09.30

Posted by Sandro Gomboli (Italy)

The experience above shows in a simple way the Archimede’s principle using easy-to-find and cheap materials.
It allow to verify experimentally the Archimede’s principle and to measure quantitatively the hydrostatic thrust with a good precision.
Simplicity and scientific rigour are the added value of the current didactic experience.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.