2. Methods

2. Methods

2.1 Equipment List

  • Arduino Uno (x1)
  • Jumper wires (x100)
  • LED light (x1)
  • Light Dependant Resistor (x1)
  • 30 cm (Width) by 55cm (Length) by 150 cm (Height) fish tank (x1) [Anything bigger can be used too]
  • 8 feet of PVC pipe
  • 28cm by 53cm styrofoam block about 5 to 6 cm thick (x1)
  • Breadboard (x1)
  • 9 gram Servos (x4)
  • Ice cream sticks (x120)
  • Hot Glue (Glue gun)
  • Swiss Knife
  • Food Colouring (optional)
  • Rubber Tube to siphon water out (can be any dimension)

2.2 Diagrams of experimental setup  

Proposed diagram:

Actual Diagram:

[Shown Below]

Figure 1: Experimental setup used to allow the house to float.

2.3 Procedures

  1. Use a penknife or a styrofoam cutter to cut out a 28cm by 53cm styrofoam block about 5 to 6 cm thick

  1. Cut 4 square holes out in the styrofoam block ( 9cm by 6cm )

  1. Build a house and glue it to the centre of the styrofoam

You can use lego or any other waterproof material to build the house. It should be 15cm by 15cm

  1. Build a servo system using an arduino which can power servos on the styrofoam to drop weights

Final Setup of the arduino:

  1. Write code for the Arduino

  1. Create poles to allow platform to rise

7)  Line the side of the tank with aluminium foil:

Line the inner wall of the back part of the tank with aluminium foil. Add two jumper wires to the edge of the house such that when the house is raised up, the two wires touch the aluminum foil, completing the circuit.

8) Final Diagram:

2.4 Risk Assessment and Management  

The hot glue may burn us or start a fire.
Make sure that there are no flammable materials near the heating apparatus and be careful not to burn ourselves
As the experiments involve heating, there is a risk of scalding the hand accidently.
Handle the equipment with care, use hand protection (e.g gloves)  to prevent burns
As the experiment involves glassware, there is a risk of breakage and cutting of the hands.
We will handle the glassware with care. On the condition that the glass breaks, we will use a broom to clear the broken pieces immediately. We will use tweezers to clear the small pieces of glass.  We will dispose the glass pieces into the sharp bin
The styrofoam cutter we are using may accidentally burnt our hands if we touch it.
Off the cutter when not in use and keep it away when doing experiments without it

2.5 Data Analysis

We collected our data by measuring the height of the house in relation to the bottom of the fish tank. We had also used a timer to measure the time. We recorded the height of the house from the bottom of the fish tank at intervals of 30s.


What data we got from the testing:

  1. The rate of rise of the house (which can be compared to real life)
  2. The rate of water entering the tank (which can be compared to the real rates of flood water in real life)