Summer 2013 STEM Teacher FellowhipSummer 2013 STEM Teach Fellowhip Lesson Plans are broken up by category in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics..

Science Lesson Plans

Physical Science:

  • Pressure and Buoyancy (2015)
    Using U.S. Navy introductions for submarine surfacing (short video) and tutorials on buoyancy and “how submarines work”, students next observe several teacher demonstrations of the concepts.  Students then construct their own submersible (a Cartesian Diver) and make their own observations.  The discussion is linked to the principle of buoyancy and Charles’ and Boyle’s Gas Laws. A virtual tour of the Submarine Force Museum can be included as a prep or follow-up activity.
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  • Torpedo Energy Source Investigation (2015)
    Using the historical sequence of U.S. Navy submarine torpedo development, facts about the source of energy used to make each type of torpedoes’ propellers turn for propelling the torpedo are determined and evaluated.
    PDF Download 1.91MB
  • Electromagnetic Waves and Submarine Antennas (2015)
    Using an actual or virtual tour of USS Nautilus from the pier area, observe the submarine topside, sail, masts, and antennas. Consider the various antennas protruding from the sail, and determine their possible uses of electromagnetic waves, visible light, and sound waves.  Compare the 1950’s era Nautilus to today’s 21st century submarine antennas: which are similar and which are different.
    A tutorial on electromagnetic waves is provided as homework, review, or to assist with the activity. A Power Point presentation on submarine communications is also provided from the Submarine Force Museum.
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  • Float Your Boat: Sink or Swim? (2014)
    As an introduction to STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, students will conduct a submarine-related interdisciplinary hands-on inquiry unit using the key concepts: buoyancy, density, force and motion, and propulsion.  In several activities students apply their knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards: Crosscutting Concepts for middle school science and engineering, by researching, reading, designing, creating and testing both surface and submersible watercraft. Links to U.S. Navy applications are used for “real world” STEM examples. PDF Download 588kb
  • The Great Escape! Introduction and Activity 1: Displacement and Buoyancy. (2014)
    Familiarization with submarine escape through videos, labs and mathematical problems using the basic principles of density, buoyancy, and pressure comprise Activities 1 and 2. Students will explore the effect pressure has on solids, liquids, and gases and will apply what they learn in Activity 3 the Kinetic Molecular Theory of Gases. The culmination is for students to apply what they learned about density, buoyancy, and pressure to function of the human lung and physiological limitations for safely escaping from a submerged, stranded submarine in Activity 4.  The culminating Activity 5 focuses on students creating an info-graphic that embodies each of the learning activities.
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  • The Great Escape! Activity 2: Forces and Pressure. (2014)
    Using demonstrations, interactive on-line simulation tutorials, and mathematical problem-solving, students develop an understanding of the concept of  pressure. PDF Download 591kb
  • The Great Escape! Activity 3: Gas Laws. (2014)
    Using demonstration, interactive on-line simulation tutorials, and mathematical problem-solving, students extend their understanding of forces and pressure to the behavior of gases.
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  • The Great Escape! Activity 4: Submarine Escape. (2014)
    Familiarization with submarine escape through videos, labs and mathematical problems using the basic principles of density, buoyancy, pressure, and the physiology of the human lung, culminate in the Activity 4.  The current procedure for safely escaping from a submerged submarine in Activity 4 contrasts with the Activity 1 historical procedures for Submarine Rescue Chamber and Deep Submergence Recovery Vehicle (DSRV) escape for a submarine.
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  • Across the Pole (2013)
    Navigation During Operation Sunshine. Use data from the historic 1958 under-ice voyage of USS Nautilus (SSN571) beneath the North Pole to calculate distance, speed, and time, employing s = d/t and its transformations. View recent submarine Polar Explorations as an extension activity.
    PDF Download (63kb)
  • Dive the Cartesian Way (2013)
    Investigate and experiment with the forces of buoyancy and gravity. Using submarine examples and a hands-on Cartesian Diver lab activity, develop an understanding of forces, Archimedes’ Principle, balanced forces, and unbalanced forces.
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  • SONAR At Sea (2013)
    Two individual activities explore SOund NAvigation and Ranging (SONAR). The first is a hands-on activity to construct a sea floor model to correlate ocean bottom contours with SONAR mapping methods. The second is problem-solving, to calculate and graph active sonar ranges using: distance = (time/2) x speed of sound in water. PDF Download (76kb)

Chemistry:

  • It’s Not Your Property – Mixtures (2015)
    Students separate various mixtures based on their properties, differentiate between a heterogeneous and homogeneous mixture, and describe the difference between chemical and physical changes.  After a key concept review, two hands-on experiments are conducted: differentiation between mixtures and solutions, then differentiation between a physical and chemical change.  A demonstration (or video) of electrolysis of water is then conducted to reinforce physical or chemical changes, and the relation to a submarine’s oxygen generator.
    PDF Download 702kb
  • Pure Water – Distillation (2015)
    Students observe the distillation process and collaborate on graphical analysis of data to connect the physical property of the boiling point to the process of distillation, then relate the simple distillation process to the Model S submarine distillation unit.  Using a simple distillation apparatus, the time, temperature and volume of distillate are recorded in a data table.  The teams graph temperature vs. time and then volume of distillate vs. temperature, and analyze and describe the results.  The process is then compared to submarine distillation units.
    PDF Download 800kb
  • Pure Water – Reverse Osmosis (2015)
    Working collaboratively in small groups, students will discover that smaller ions and molecules can cross a synthetic selectively permeable membrane, but larger molecules cannot cross.  Also, they will see that diffusion results from random motion of molecules, moving substances from regions of higher to lower concentrations. Finally, osmosis and reverse osmosis will be observed and graphically evaluated, to demonstrate the process of making pure water aboard a submarine with less energy and simpler technology than distillation.
    PDF Download 846kb
  • Submarine Heat Exchange (2014)
    The activity explores the properties of  heat and properties of the material used for the heat exchangers. An overview of the components of a reactor plant (including three major heat exchangers) is included.  Students are encouraged to record their procedure in a series of photographs, graph their collected data, reevaluate, modify, and adjust their procedure, and cite data in their conclusions.
    PDF Download (157kb)
  • Run for the Surface: An Application of Gas Laws (2014)
    Students will solve Boyle’s Law problems and convert between units.  This is the foundation for understanding gas laws, and sophisticated application and extension of the dimensional analysis methods used across physical science curricula.  Students who complete this activity will be better able to link gas law theory and examples, and evaluate problems to decide if unit conversions are necessary.  Practice in unit conversions will extend student experience in dimensional analysis.
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  • Scrubbers and pH (2014)
    A submarine spends many days below the surface and needs a system for removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  A “scrubber” is used to remove the CO2 continually.  A strong base Monoethanolamine (MEA) is used to absorb the CO2 from the air. The MEA is then heated to drive out the gas, and the latter is compressed and ejected overboard. This lesson reviews the history of nuclear-powered submarine atmosphere control and provides application problems solving chemistry pH problems associated with MEA and CO2.
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  • How Do Submariners Breathe Underwater, For 90 Days? (2014)
    Investigate the changes in the components of the air in a submarine during a lengthy submarine deployment, including replacement of oxygen and removal of impurities. The lesson plan describes the machinery on a submarine that maintains "fresh air" while submerged and explores the human body's breathing process. Two short lab activities are included. A link to a short reading assignment on early naval research on submarine atmosphere control is provided.
    PDF Downlaod (350 kb)
  • Submarines: Where's the Chemistry? (2014)
    Students will use a guided web search to investigate submarine systems which can be linked to general chemistry topics. The activity includes a virtual tour of Historic Ship Nautilus (SSN571).  Students will produce a document that includes images and text which answers nine 'scavenger hunt' questions.
    PDF Download (570 kb)

Life Science-Biology:

  • The Great Escape! Activity 4: Submarine Escape. (2014)
    Familiarization with submarine escape through videos, labs and mathematical problems using the basic principles of density, buoyancy, pressure, and the physiology of the human lung, culminate in the Activity 4.  The current procedure for safely escaping from a submerged submarine in Activity 4 contrasts with the Activity 1 historical procedures for Submarine Rescue Chamber and Deep Submergence Recovery Vehicle (DSRV) escape for a submarine.
    PDF Download 181kb

Technology Lesson Plans

  • The Great Escape! Activity 5: Create an Info-graphic. (2014)
    Familiarization with submarine escape through videos, labs and mathematical problem-solving in Activities 1 through 4,  prepares students to design an info-graphic that visualizes the effect water pressure has on a submerged diver, the physiological effects that are a threat to the safety of submerged divers, and the use of a hyperbaric chamber to help reverse those effects.  The info-graphic created embodies each of the learning activities.
    PDF Download 616kb
  • Projectile Motion Unit Plan and Lesson Plan 1: The Submarine 5” Deck Gun. (2013)
    Investigate the technology of yesterday with the technology of today.  View the 25 Caliber-Single Purpose-Submarine Mounted 5” Gun Ordnance Procedure Pamphlet and conduct a “periscope search” using the 360 degree, zoomable museum interactive web tour.  A projectile motion tutorial is also provided.
    PDF Download (205kb)

    Additional Projectile Motion Tutorial Powerpoint/Slideshow (1014kb)
  • Projectile Motion Lesson Plan 2: Projectile Motion Simulation. (2013)
    Use the characteristics of the submarine 5” deck gun and your imagination, to investigate motion of projectiles using the 2011 Tech Award-winning simulation website. Identify the independent and dependent variables.
    PDF Download (229kb)
  • Projectile Motion Lesson Plans 3 & 4; Design & Fabricate Your Own “Rocket” and Launcher, then Conduct Operational Tests. (2013)
    Design your rocket, then construct it with paper, glue, and tape. Also, construct a PVC launcher to test your design and determine its flight characteristics and accuracy.
    PDF Download (589kb)

Engineering Lesson Plans

  • Engineering Design: Tower Building (2015)
    Experiencing the engineering design process is accomplished through a hands-on teamwork activity.  Student teams build 30 cm tall towers using identical sets of craft sticks, rubber bands, paper clips, and masking tape, then team’s determine the maximum weight the tower will hold before collapse.  Observations are made and recorded, then the process is repeated (up to four trials by each team) in order to improve the weight-holding result.  A final summary includes description of the engineering design process as observed by the work of all teams.
    PDF Download 446kb
  • Submarine Atmosphere Monitoring - Engineering (2015)
    Student preparation for the activity includes review of submarine atmosphere monitoring systems and how submarines provide a healthy atmosphere for the crew. 
    For Engineering, students review the technologies necessary for submariners to breathe while in a closed, confined, space under water.  Student then assess civilian, community, social, economic, political, environmental, military, positive & negative impacts of atmosphere control systems.  Finally, students further explore the math, science, and types of engineering involved in the creation of submarine atmosphere systems.  
    PDF Download 894kb
  • Global Positioning System- Engineering (2015)
    Beginning with a short history of the GPS, students next investigate the geometrical and physical foundations of the system.  Engineering students will extend the investigation to include GPS impact on society, culture, politics, environment, economics, and the military.
    PDF Download 1.15MB
  • The Great Escape! Introduction and Activities 1 and 4: Displacement and Buoyancy; Submarine Escape. (2014)
    Familiarization with submarine escape through videos, labs and mathematical problems using the basic principles of density, buoyancy, pressure, and the physiology of the human lung, culminate in the Activity 4.  The current procedure for safely escaping from a submerged submarine in Activity 4 contrasts with the Activity 1 historical procedures for Submarine Rescue Chamber and Deep Submergence Recovery Vehicle (DSRV) escape for a submarine.
    Activity 1: PDF Download 446kb
    Activity 4: PDF Download 181kb
  • Submarine Heat Exchange (2014)
    The activity explores the properties of  heat and properties of the material used for the heat exchangers. An overview of the components of a reactor plant (including three major heat exchangers) is included.  Students are encouraged to record their procedure in a series of photographs, graph their collected data, reevaluate, modify, and adjust their procedure, and cite data in their conclusions.
    PDF Download (157kb)

Mathematics Lesson Plans

  • Smoking Aboard U.S. Navy Submarines (2015)
    This lesson spans the high school statistics and probability standards of the Common Core State Standards (Algebra 2 and fourth year course) and the curriculum for AP Statistics.  Students will be able to use and apply the concepts of random sampling, designed experiments, observational studies and statistical inference.
    Students will learn about the recent history of smoking on U.S.Navy submarines and how the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory conducted a study to eliminate the risk of second hand smoke.
    PDF Download 670kb
  • Global Positioning System-Triangulation (2015)
    This lesson demonstrates how the mathematics learned in middle school and later investigated in greater depth in geometry, can be applied to understand how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works. A straightforward assessment allows students to manually determine a GPS-like position, with simulated satellite data.
    PDF Download 1.25MB
  • Submarine Atmosphere Monitoring (2015)
    This lesson spans the high school statistics and probability standards of the Common Core State Standards (Algebra 2 and fourth year course).  Students will conduct a detailed statistical analysis of atmosphere readings from a U.S. Navy submarine. The overall lesson covers much material.  It is designed in such a manner to be broken into many different lessons or used as one final assessment of statistics learning.
    Students will also learn how a safe atmosphere is provided for the submarine’s crew.
    PDF Download 912kb
  • Torpedo Dimension Investigation (2015)
    Using submarine torpedoes on display at the Submarine Force Museum, students learn the similarities and differences between common torpedo characteristics.  Next, student teams take actual measurements of the torpedoes in the display areas.  Connecting the data with geometry facts about triangles, circles, spheres, cylinders, right triangles, pyramids, and cones, student teams calculate radius, overall length, total volume, and surface area of each torpedo. Students then compare results, make graphs to compare characteristics (speed, range, capability) and evaluate torpedo performance.
    PDF Download 2.59MB
  • Operation Navigation (2014)
    The two activities in the lesson are designed for Algebra and Geometry teachers looking for an application activity on geometric construction, unit conversion, angle measures and circles.
    Students will learn about the navigational techniques used by surfaced U.S.
    Navy submarines to calculate the position and heading of their own vessel and other vessels, while entering and leaving port.
    PDF Download (388kb)
  • Through the Mindfields (2013)
    Through the Minefields is a hands-on, cooperative team activity. Students solve real world mine warfare problems, using communications and graphing to either create, locate (simulating a dolphin, sonar, or underwater vehicle ROV/AUV), map, or safely navigate through a domino-simulated minefield.
    PDF Download (120kb)
  • Cook For a Submarine Fleet (2013)
    Determine how much food to load aboard for 60-90 days at sea without resupply. Using ratios, proportions, and unit rates find the amount of each ingredient you need to bring aboard your submarine to enjoy your favorite Navy recipe throughout the deployment.
    PDF Download (58kb)
    updated 8Oct2013
    - Lesson Plan in the Classroom (blog post on navyhistory.org)
  • Up-Periscope, the Distance to the Horizon. (2013)
    Three activities to investigate submarine periscope use for determining the distance to other ships, navigating a submarine when in sight of land, and determining travel distances across the curved ocean surface.
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  • Missiles Away….And Torpedoes Too! (2013)
    Using Navy data on submarine missiles and torpedoes, calculate and graph data for speed, distance and time for “How Long Until the Weapon Hits the Target?”
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  • Stealthy Submarine…But…”How Close Will the Enemy Get?”(2013)
    Use trigonometry and algebra to solve problems done by the old submarine Torpedo Data Computer. Determine “angle on the bow”. Apply the mathematics working behind the scenes for today’s U.S. Navy Submarine Force.
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