Science Sunday: Ocean floor digging, search for the HL Hunley



Sooooo…….  I went to the library to find books on South Carolina and came up with 6.  Three about the same thing.  One which is checked out presumed missing (but was an awesome book), and another which doesn’t really lead itself to any sort of activity.

Which leads me to begging, if you have any suggestions for South Carolina, something that stands out to you please let me know.  PLEASE.

Okay, on to our project.  We read about the HL Hunley.  It’s the first ever submarine, and it sank and for years it was a mystery where did it sink, why did it sink, what happened?  And then come the turn of the century (isn’t it funny to say that and not mean 1900s?) they found it!

HL Hunley Civil War subBut how to lift it?  How can we explore its mysteries?

Shipwreck Search {affiliate link} details all about the search for the Hunley and how we finally got it to the surface.  We got details of how they first searched for it right after it went missing.  Then details of the attempts through the ages, until finally it was found.

So, I gave each group of kids a bowl filled up with mud and water, and buried in it were the two cars pictured above.  I also buried miscellaneous things, rocks, bolts, other stuff.

Instructions: Using the materials pictured on the right, find the “Hunley” and discover how to get it out of the bowl without touching the car or the water.

Then the race was on.  The girls started by poking around in the water with the bamboo rods, until they found the car.  Then they used two forks to raise the “Hunley.”

The boys probably had too many cooks in the pot.  They all happily got to poking around and did find the car very quickly, but they took about a minute longer.

General consensus: The magnets were not very helpful (probably because the cars were not magnetic).  The bamboo skewers worked very well for finding it, but not for lifting it up.  The big forks worked very well for lifting it, but the spoons did not.

This was a huge hit with the boys who hid their “Hunley” several more times before finally being done with it.  After the other kids left my boys then spent several more minutes (read half an hour) finding everything in it they could.


14 responses to “Science Sunday: Ocean floor digging, search for the HL Hunley”

  1. An Almost Unschooling Mom Avatar
    An Almost Unschooling Mom

    Two bowls of muddy, toy filled water, and a group of children – inside the house? You are a brave woman!

  2. more stupid. I didn't think about it until after they were in the midst of the activity……

  3. How cool- I bet they ask to do this one again!

  4. MaryAnne Avatar

    You are brave! What a great activity, and won't they won't forget anytime soon!

  5. Mummy...Mummy.....MUM!! Avatar

    I love that! such a great idea. I can't wait to try it!

  6. Great way to problem solve! They will remember this search for Hunley for sure!

  7. The girl who painted trees Avatar
    The girl who painted trees

    Sounds like a great science project, but messy:) We'll be heading to SC (beach trip) soon. Do you need a postcard?

  8. Melinda Weiser Avatar
    Melinda Weiser

    Looks like lots of fun. We will have to try this with our kids. Thanks for great ideas!

    Melinda at Weiser Academy

  9. learning table Avatar
    learning table

    Here are some suggestions for you for SC books:

    Hello U.S.A. South Carolina by Charles Fredeen,
    Steck-Vaughn Portrait of America South Carolina by Kathleen Thompson,
    From Sea to Shining Sea South Carolina by Myra S. Weatherly,
    Books by Kate Salley Palmer–Palmetto Symbol of Courage, Francis Marion and the Legend of the Swamp Fox (Her books are awesome!)
    Books by Idella Bodie–The Revolutionary Swamp Fox, The Wizard Owl
    Courageous Kate by Sheila Ingle

  10. Very cool activity 🙂

  11. Fun activity! We have always focused on the beach when talking about SC because we go there a couple times a year. You could learn about dolphins as part of your study of SC. I also did a lesson on ocean waves based on our visit to SC at one point. You could extend that to tides. Just a few ideas.

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