Field Trip in a Box: DIVE! DIVE!
The History and Technology of Submarines

Dive! Dive! is a program designed for 5th graders to learn the history and some of the technology behind submarines. Throughout this lesson students will:

  • Learn what makes a ship float
  • Why submarines can float and sink
  • How submarine technology has changed over the past 200 years
  • Key improvements to submarine design, and the people who made them

Officially, submarines have been a part of the U.S Navy since 1900, and there have been many different types and classes of submarines. This lesson focuses upon three specific submarines for their historical significance and technological advancement, Turtle, Hunley and Holland, and more broadly talk about diesel and nuclear submarines (with specific subs used as examples.) The modern Navy has several different classes of submarines, and if there is a specific boat or class that especially interests you or your class, please feel free to discuss them.

All the parts of the lesson are designed to introduce your students to the concepts of buoyancy, density and history of submarines. If constrained by time, the main lesson is DIVE! DIVE! (activity 2) and can be done on its own. We highly encourage doing the Does it Sink or Float? prior to DIVE! DIVE! so your students can have a hands on look at how a submarine operates. The additional activities are optional, but included to give your students a more in depth look at the concepts, and can be used in centers, science projects or as optional homework assignments.

View DIVE! DIVE! Curriculum Guide

Materials included in your kit:
  • Teacher's curriculum guide
  • Photo Cards for Activities 2-3
  • Modeling Clay
  • Plastic Basin
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Drinking straws
  • Pipettes
  • Hex nuts
  • Signal Flag memory desk
  • 5x7 Signal Flag cards
  • Activity Sheets
Teacher Provided Supplies:
  • Collection of items composed of various materials to test for floating
  • Empty soda can
  • 16 oz water bottles with lids (one per student)
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent markers
  • Buckets or cups for water or you may use the plastic basin
  • Markers / colored pencils

To order this program, please call the Education department at (202) 433 6826