Try this experiment with a soda can submarine to find out how a real submarine dives and surfaces. This is a fast science experiment that can be completed in less than five minutes and an easy kitchen science experiment that the kids will want to repeat over and over again!

Do your own soda can submarine experiment and learn how a real submarine dives and surfaces! Exciting and easy five minute kitchen science experiment for kids.

Awesome Science Experiments for Kids

If you enjoy this submarine experiment you are going to LOVE my new book, AWESOME SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS FOR KIDS. It contains over 100 colorful and creative STEAM activities for kids ages 5-10. I wrote it with parents and grandparents in mind so the instructions are simple and the experiments only require supplies you probably already have at home.

Turn your mini scientists into true artists by creating a pendulum painting work of art using a classic chemical reaction.This makes for an impressive science experiment or science fair project for kids. The end result is a beautiful, vibrant, and unique masterpiece the kids will love creating.

Making a Soda Can Submarine

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

This experiment is super easy to set up. First, we gathered the following supplies from around the house:

  • A tall vase, bowl, or pot 3/4 full of water
  • An empty soda can
  • Plastic tubing
Make your own submarine science project and learn how a real submarine dives and surfaces! Exciting and fast science experiment for kids.

Once we had our supplies gathered we headed to the kitchen to experiment with our soda can submarine. I placed a few towels underneath the vase to catch any spills and I’m sure glad I did! Luckily is was easy to wipe up at the end.

Submarine Science Project

I had the kids follow these directions to make the soda can submarine dive and then resurface:

  • Place one end of the tubing inside the soda can.
  • Fill the soda can with water.
  • Place the soda can in the vase. We used the tubing to stir up the water inside the soda can to work out any remaining air bubbles. Then we used an extra cup full of water to fill up any remaining space in the soda can. Once all the air is out of the can it should sink easily.
  • Once the soda can sinks, blow air into the plastic tubing. Watch as the air travels through the tube into the can, making it surface!
Make your own soda can submarine and learn how a real submarine dives and surfaces! Exciting and easy five minute science activity for kids.

A siphon is created once you are done blowing air into tubing. This means you will get a mouthful of water if you are lower than the water level. My son actually loved this and thought it was a super fun reward, but if you don’t want a drink, make sure your end of the tubing is higher than the water level!

The Science Behind the Soda Can Experiment

There is some really amazing science that makes a submarine work!

The key lies in the ballast tanks which can be alternately filled with water or air. When they are filled with air, the submarine is less dense than water, so it rises to the surface. When they are filled with water, the submarine is more dense than the surrounding water and dives. Check out this great article on How Stuff Works that explains how a submarine works in greater detail with a nice picture.

As air flows into the can, water is displaced, and flows out. This makes the soda can less dense than the surrounding water, which is what makes it rise to the surface!

If you are a visual person, check out the short video we made of our soda can submarine experiment below.

More Hands-On Fun for Kids –>

These jaw-dropping kitchen science experiments will wow kids from preschool on up! A collection of more than 20 experiments to do at home or at school.
Try out this colorful collection of over 50 fast science experiments for kids! Perfect for kids of all ages and abilities, these quick science experiments take five minutes or less to complete!
This collection of dry ice experiments for kids is safe, fun, and downright magical. Each science experiment teaches important concepts through bubbly fun!
Five super simple experiments for kids that each take five minutes or less to complete. These colorful and quick science experiments are perfect for kids of all ages and abilities! Includes no-prep printable science journal pages for kids to complete.

Receive a FREE Science Packet by Entering Your Email Address Below

STEM Saturday