Items Needed:

  • A plastic drinking bottle (1-2 liter)

  • Plastic or rubber tubing

  • Modeling clay or sealant

  • A container to house your submarine

  • Bathtub, sink, or large container

First, puncture or drill a hole through the bottle’s cap with adult supervision. Then run the plastic tubing through the hole into the bottle. Make sure you leave enough tubing on the outside of the bottle so that when the bottle is submerged, there is enough tubing to reach out of the water. Use your modeling clay or sealant to seal off the gap around the tubing at the cap.

Next, make a small hole in the bottom of the plastic bottle. Make the hole small enough that you can cover it with an object such as your finger. Cover the hole and then fill the plastic bottle all the way up with water. Put one side of the tubing into the bottle, and screw on the cap, making sure you keep the hole in the bottom of the bottle covered.

Place the bottle in a sink, bathtub, or large container that has enough water in it to cover the bottle by at least 2 inches. Now uncover the hole in the bottom of the bottle. The bottle should sit on the bottom of the tub. Next, take the part of the tubing that is out of the water and blow into it as hard as you can. Your submarine should rise to the surface.

If your bottle does rise, then you have successfully created your own submarine. The most advanced submarines in the world operate the same way—by alternately filling chambers with air or water in order to rise or sink. Of course, they have sealed areas that allow passengers and items to be safely transported below the depths of the water.

You can learn more about submarines by visiting these sites:

  • This is a site about one of the Civil War submarines. It includes a simulator that allows you to try and get the sub to complete its mission: www.hunley.org
  • To learn even more how a submarine is able to work, visit www.howstuffworks.com/submarine.htm 


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Melissa Pinkley enjoys life with her husband, Wes. They learn a lot from their four children: Ben, Micah, Levi and Abigail. Homeschooling goes on 24/7 for the whole Pinkley family. They have been homeschooling for 6 years.  The Lord is gracious and continues to help them follow Him.

Originally published in the May/Jun ’09 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine.