Exploring Water with Submarines!

Contributor: Kaitlyn Aston. Lesson ID: 12807

Things in water usually either float or sink. Boats, ducks, and sticks float; rocks, fishing lures, and really bad swimmers sink. How can a submarine both float and sink? Grab a balloon and find out!


Earth Science

learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter, Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Have you ever gone underwater while swimming? How long could you stay under? Did you know that a submarine, along with its crew, can remain underwater for months? This is a long time to be underwater!

  • Have you ever seen or ridden inside a submarine?

In most cases, you may have only heard of or seen pictures of submarines. This is because submarines are not the most common type of shipping vessel to carry people from one place to another. Before you dive deeper into the world of water and submarines, check out this video on submarines in order to learn more about the parts and functions of this type of transportation.

SUBMARINE: Videos for kids. Preschool & Kindergarten learning, from Things That Go TV!


Submarines were very helpful years ago when people tried to get from one place to another without being seen. For example, submarines made a huge impact in World War II. Although battles at sea are not commonly thought of when referring to World War II, they were still an important step towards the victory in the war for the Allied powers. The Allied powers were able to use submarines to sink many Japanese ships because they could travel from one place to another without being seen. Submarines have many uses, from war-craft to undersea exploration, and are even still helpful and widely used today!

  • What makes a submarine float or sink?

Most ships float on water, but when they sink, they fall down to the ocean floor.

  • So how can a submarine sink and then resurface whenever it chooses?
  • How does water play a part in a submarine's journey?

This sounds like a great question for Flo, so let's check it out!


You made your very own submarines! As the water pushed the air out of the soda can, the can began to sink. Once Flo started blowing air through the tubing and back into the can, the can rose to the top!

  • Did you know that submarines work this way?

When they want to submerge and sink below the water’s surface, they let water into tanks known as the ballast tanks (as shown in the first video).

  • So, how do you think the submarines head back to the surface?

Continue on to the Got It? section to dive deeper into your brain to check your submarine knowledge!

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