Submarine Lesson 6 - How do you recover a submarine with levers and pulleys?

In this lesson students complete their cranes by adding a lever or pulley system. Students reflect and evaluate their structures

Duration: 60mins

Curriculum Objectives: 5

Subject: D&T

Resource Overview

Submarine STEM 7-11 delivers a comprehensive scheme of work covering Materials, Forces and Living things and develops students’ ability to work scientifically. The unit is based on the exploratory submersible journeys undertaken as part of the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey off Bermuda, the Sargasso Sea (between Bermuda and Canada) and off Canada’s east coast. Using exclusive galleries, videos and online 360 VR technology students are fully immersed in the deep ocean. Students will understand the scale and depth of the ocean, explore and investigate the creatures which inhabit this inhospitable environment and consider how forces and materials are integral to submersible design. Throughout the unit students plan, carry out and evaluate scientific investigations, culminating in an exciting DT challenge.

Thank you to EncounterEdu for allowing us to share this resource.

Resource Assets


How do you recover a submarine with levers and pulleys? - PowerPoint

The final task is to understand how levers and pulleys work and apply this to get the submersible into the water.


Levers and Pulleys - Student Sheet

Students plan and construct the levers and pulleys on their cranes and test their function using model submersibles.


Levers and Pulleys - Activity Overview 6a

In this activity students add a lever or pulley system to their crane, capable of raising and lowering their submarine model.


How do you recover a submarine with levers and pulleys? - Teachers Guide

Clear timings, steps and outcomes for the lesson.

Curriculum Objectives

  • Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
  • Understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages]