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Interest in submarines floats to the surface.

OXFORD - Students in Elaine Goulas' Grade 5 science classes at Oxford Middle School are studying density, buoyancy, and the ability of ships to float and submarines to submerge.

Bennett Milliner, assistant principal and a Navy submarine veteran, spoke to the class about ships and submarines.

During the presentation, students viewed diagrams and pictures of submarines from the Revolutionary War through present day. Mr. Milliner discussed the man-powered submarine CSS Hunley, which was used in the Civil War. Students learned how submarines developed and how nuclear power changed submarines.

Mr. Milliner did an experiment to show students how a submarine floats and submerges. He illustrated how the density formula is used, and presented a summary of his 22-year career in the Navy.

Students learned what materials submarines are made of, what "boomers" are and what "neutrally buoyant" means. They were intrigued to hear about life on a submarine. For example, 130 people would live in a space that was the size of a three-bedroom house, and air quality and water were healthier than on land. Submarines and their crews could be underwater for months at a time; the only limit on the length of a mission is the amount of food that can be stored on the submarine.

Mrs. Goulas' science classes took the "Watercraft Challenge," based on a PBS Design Squad lesson. Teams teams designed and built a ship. Design Squad lessons are based on STEM, (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. Mrs. Goulas has attended regionwide STEM conferences. Students are looking forward to return visits by Mr. Milliner, where he will discuss electricity and nuclear power.



CUTLINE: Bennett Milliner, Oxford Middle School assistant principal and a Navy submarine veteran, gave a presentation to Elaine Goulas' 5th-grade science class.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 18, 2010
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