How to Build a Barge With Aluminum Foil

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Make a model of a barge by folding aluminum foil into a long rectangle.
Make a model of a barge by folding aluminum foil into a long rectangle. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A model of a barge made from aluminum foil is a project assigned by many science teachers, Scout Masters and 4-H leaders. The project helps students to understand how a large flat surfaced boat is able to float in water with a heavy load. Aluminum foil is easy to work with and fold into the flat shape of a barge. Allow a minimum of 15 minutes to fold the flat, rectangular shape of the barge.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

Measure and cut a piece of aluminum foil 8-inches wide and 12-inches long. Place the cut piece of aluminum foil on a flat work surface.

Fold in 1/2-inch of each edge and crease. Repeat the process a second time. This gives the edge of the barge extra support and strength.

Position the aluminum foil so a long edge is on a horizontal axis. Fold 1-inch of the top edge perpendicular to the aluminum foil at a 90 degree angle. Crease along the folded edge. Repeat the process with the bottom edge.

Gently push the top and bottom edge down and lay them flat with the work surface.

Fold 1-inch of the right edge perpendicular to the aluminum foil at a 90 degree angle. Crease along the folded edge. Repeat the process with the left edge.

Gently push the right and left edges down, laying them flat on the work surface. Notice the square shape made with the creases in the four corners.

Reposition the top and left edge of the barge in an upright position. Push the upper left hand corner to the inside of the barge while repositioning the top and left edge into the upright position. Repeat the process with each corner.

Press the triangle made from the small squares pushed to the inside on each corner flat against the long edge of the barge.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a square box made from aluminum foil in the center of the barge to represent the area for steering the boat.
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