All of YMCA Camp Cherokee’s Environmental Education classes are adjustable to your students’ needs. We have hands on activities for students who are just beginning school to those entering high school. Read below to find out more!


Class Canoe

Goal: Students will understand why boats float and demonstrate that different forces used when paddling have different results.  

  • Students will observe how different paddle strokes affect the canoe in the water to compare the different strengths and directions of pushing and pulling on the motion of the canoe (2.P.4A.1, 2.P.4A.3).

  • Students will experiment with different paddle strokes to demonstrate how the force of the stroke affects the motion of the canoe (5.P.5A.2).

  • Students will conduct controlled scientific investigations to test the effects of gravity and buoyant force (5.P.5A.3, 8.P.2A.2).

  • Students will experiment with changing the force needed to paddle the canoe, they may also experiment with changing the mass of the canoe to see what differences result (5.P.5A.4, 8.P.2A.1).

  • Students will infer changes in speed or direction resulting from different forces used to paddle the canoe (3.P.1.1).

  • Students will explain how factors such as gravity, friction and change in mass affect the canoe’s motion (5.P.1.1).

  • Through a hands on activity using clay, students will conduct an investigation to provide evidence of gravity and buoyant force (3-PS2-1).


  • Buoyant force
  • Gravity
  • Force
  • Motion
  • Density
  • Mass
  • Volume

  • Students will explain Archimedes’ principle through the use of a hands on activity with clay and water.
  • Students will define and observe volume, destiny, and mass.
  • Students will demonstrate different push and pull techniques to apply force to the canoe in the water making it move.
  • Students will use teamwork to man their canoe for a successful journey around Lake York.
Links for Teachers:

Teacher Planning Packet

Registration Form

EE Waiver

For more information, please contact Will Gilmore.