Magazine article Technology and Children

Below Sea Level!

Magazine article Technology and Children

Below Sea Level!

Article excerpt

Grade Level: 2 and up Time: 15 minutes to design, 30-45 minutes to build


We use many items every day without stopping to analyze what resources were used to make them. Some common building materials such as wood, metal, plastics, glass, ceramics, and composites (materials made from combining two different materials) will be easy to identify in your own classroom. Do a quick classroom tour to see what building material resources are used most often in the building structure, the furniture, and other classroom objects.

Design Activity

Design and construct an underwater shelter for humans, specifying what materials your team would use and why you would select them.


Paper, pencils, markers, consumable materials, building materials such as Legos, K'NEX, etc., plastic straws, balloons, 2-liter plastic bottles, etc. Optional: plastic bakery lids (used for cakes), scrap pieces of wood or metal


1. Discuss the different types of materials that would work in a water environment as you talk about the various building materials commonly used.

2. In teams, design and label the parts and materials to be used in constructing an underwater shelter: Be sure to talk about how the team plans to get oxygen, fresh drinking water, energy for electricity, food, garbage disposal, and transportation to the surface, to name a few. …

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