Monthly Archives: December 2003

The Submarine Project

**Update** There are a lot of people finding this page using web search tools. Congratulations on your use of research to solve this problem. As a result there are a lot of valuable comments and possible solutions in the comments below. Please take the time to read the comments from others. I’m unable to provide any individual help on this project but I hope you find some useful information here. Please do not use the comments to complain about the project or chat with each other. If you have found something that works for you or another useful website please take the time to carefully write it up and submit it as a comment for others to read. Off-topic comments will be deleted. -Ben 2/26/2006

My 7th grade sister came home for winter vacation with a science project to do. Nothing simple like we used to do in school, she’s supposed to build a working miniature submarine. Naturally, I was asked to help with this project, but at the moment I’m quite busy with a number of other projects, so I’m wondering if anyone in the vast world of the internet has any ideas regarding how one would go about doing this? Remember, and this is important, this is still a 7th grade project and as such should not be overly complicated, we are going for the simplest solution to the problem, not the most technical one! You can find a copy of the project requirements below, any help would be greatly appreciated!

PS 14 The Submarine Project

Your Mission: Design, constuct and demonstrate a
submarine device that will float, sink and float again OR sink,
float and sink again in a tank of water 30 cm deep. This mission also includes
writing a "Captains Log" of your design process.


  1. Design and construct a subnmarine device that will operate in a tank of
    water 30 cm deep.
  2. Captains Log – write a report about your device and include a log
    of your design as you work
  3. Demonstrate your device to the class


  1. Sub must be more than 2 cm long and not larger than an average shoebox.
  2. You will only have about 5 minutes to get your submarine to complete its
  3. You may not touch (or drop things onto) the sub once it is put in the water
    – it must be completely self-operational
  4. Presentations will be done in our class fish tank. All materials must be
    contained inside the fish tank, not clinging to the walls or connected to
    anything outside the tank. (No hoses)
  5. Chemical reactions are not recommended unless it is designed
    to happen inside the submarine and not released into the aquarium. Only gasses
    can be releases into the tank, not the "chemicals".
  6. The density of the water in the tank must remain unchanged after your sub
    has completed its mission. Things that dissolve in water are not allowed.
    Kleenex and paper dissolve in water and can contaminate the tank
  7. Restricted materials: NO Funnels (or funnel-shaped objects), NO golf balls,
    NO tops to Tupperware and NO sponges may be used as the main body of the submarine.

Submarine Report must include the following:
Helpful Hint: Start each section on a fresh page and title the page with
the section

  • Creative Cover Page (Color picture, your name, submarine name, date, science
  • Salty Captain and vessel name (ie.:Science Stein of the S.S. Density)
  • Log of design work – Each time you work on the submarine, keep a log of
    the date and time you worked, discussing what you tried including drawings,
    frustrations and successes. You need to do this each time you work!
  • Final materials list: List all materials needed to construct your final
  • Vessel Operation: Explain how the submarine works in detail. How does it
    change density? (It should change density twice)
  • Design Plans: At least 3 drawings or pictures of your sub: floating sinking
    and then floating again (or vice versa). Be sure the pictures show changes
    in your sub.

The Boston Pictures Live!

Call it a late Christmas present but I’ve finally gotten around to posting pictures from our family trip to Boston this summer. You can check them out for yourself here, if you really want to relive it you can read my travel log starting with this entry. I’m off now for a day of sledding with the extended family (we need more snow!) but I promise to have some more updates soon!