SS Archimedes is famed for being the world's first steamship to be driven by a screw propeller. This steam ship was built in Great Britain in 1839 and influenced many ship builders to use propellers in their designs.
There are lots of different types of propellers at the Prince Philip Maritime Collection Centre, but they all do the same thing.
They use Sir Isaac Newton’s 3rd law of motion which is sometimes called action and reaction.
This means that if you want to move forward, you need to push backward and that is also the case if you are moving through air or water. A ship’s propeller works by thrusting an area of water away from the main body of the ship, thereby producing a reactive force that moves the boat forward.
Make your own propeller driven boat!
You will need:
Mackerel tin or margerine tub (ask a parent to cover the sharp edge if you're using a mackerel tin)
2 chopsticks or old pencils
Cut the lolly stick in half and round off the sharp corner on one half.
Put two elastic bands around the tin, one at the top and one at the bottom.
Slot a chopstick or pencil down each side of the tin.
Put an elastic band around the ends of the two chopsticks.
If it is a big elastic band, try wrapping it round twice.
Put one of the lolly stick halves between the elastic bands and wind it up.
With help from an adult fill the bath and see how fast your boat will go.
- Can you find ways to make it even faster? Try making the propeller thicker or longer to see if that makes a difference.
- You could also create another boat and have a race across your bath or paddling pool.
- How about decorating your boat with your own unique designs?