How to Build a Submarine for a Science Project

Written by will guzzardi
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Underwater travel has fascinated mankind through the ages. The earliest submarine designs date from the 16th century, and the first operable submarine, the H. L. Hunley, was built during the Civil War by the Confederate navy. By the end of World War I, submarines were fast becoming a reliable component of naval warfare, and they are now a vital part of the world’s major navies.

The operation of a real-life submarine is extremely complex. Fortunately, you can build a submarine that submerges and re-emerges, for a science project or just for fun, with a few simple household goods.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 12 marbles
  • Empty plastic bottle, 454gr.
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Balloon
  • Small fish tank filled with water (for demonstration)

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Put the marbles in the bottle and add enough water to fill the bottle halfway.

  2. 2

    Set two tablets of Alka-Seltzer inside the balloon, then use the balloon to cover the opening of the bottle in place of the cap.

  3. 3

    Place your submarine in the fish tank. Weighted by the marbles, your bottle will slowly sink. Eventually, though, water from the bottle will seep into the balloon, reacting with the Alka-Seltzer and causing the submarine to fill with air. This will make it float to the surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Try building this sub a few times at home before presenting it as a science project—it can be a little finicky.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.