The Voyage of the Bathysphere

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A Deep Sea Adventure

Overview & Background: On August 15, 1934, William Beebe and Otis Barton set the world diving record by traveling to a depth of 3,028 feet below the surface of the ocean. Assisted by Gloria Hollister and Jocelyn Crane, Beebe and Barton made this journey inside a spherical vessel called the Bathysphere.

How Deep is That?

The voyage of the Bathysphere journeyed over one half mile deep. Another deep sea event that you might remember was twice as deep as the Bathysphere dive.

On 20 April 2010, the Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in Mississippi Canyon 252 and began spewing roughly 210,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean from its broken wellhead. The break in the wellhead was located over 5,000 feet below the ocean surface. Robots were used for controlling this leak in a water temperature of 34F and an outside pressure of over 2,400 pounds per square inch (PSI).

Make Your Own Bathysphere

1. Assemble the Bathysphere. Glue the skid to the slots in the bottom, gently install Sphero (a robotic ball toy) inside the Bathysphere, and bolt the top onto this assembly with the fasteners.

2. If your Bathysphere will be used in water, how much weight must be attached to the skid for causing the vessel to sink? Make sure that your Bathysphere remains level as it descends.

3. Securely tie the fishing line to the connector on the top of your Bathysphere. Is your knot strong enough to lift your Bathysphere?

4. Attach the line to the fishing rod and reel.

Preparation: Material needed for completing this lesson:

* 3D printed files for the Bathysphere replica * Sphero, SPRK, or SPRK+ robot * OrbBasic App (Android and/or iOS version) * Large spool of break-resistant fishing line or filament (e.g., 20 - 30 feet) * (4) M4 screw bolt fasteners with matching nuts (NOTE: 6-32 fasteners can also be used) * An assortment of fishing tackle weights or other water-resistant weights * A fishing rod and reel * Tape measure * Stop watch * Various water-resistant pens or markers * Plastic cement or glue * A deep pool of water or a deep open stairwell


Design Files

File Size

226 KB
683 KB
3.66 MB
3.95 MB


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