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Inspiring Primary Science – A blog series showcasing 6 PSTT resources - #1 Titanic Science

What do you think of when you hear the name ‘Titanic’? A picture of an impressive-looking ship? A scene from the Oscar-winning film? A tragedy? Celine Dion singing ‘My heart Will Go On’?

Posted on Wednesday 02nd November 2022

Titanic Science

The idea of science lessons may not be the first thing that springs to mind, but if you get chance to look at this PSTT resource by Jim McDaid, you cannot help but be inspired by how much interesting, and very relevant, science learning can be gleaned from this subject. (And we all know how much more exciting it can be for children when they are learning about real events.)

“I loved the unfolding of the story told through the prism of science: very powerful and emotive.”

Titanic Science is a real gem of a book, full of fascinating questions and investigations, engaging for children and teachers alike.

  • Set out in chronological order, with a clear a timeline of events
  • 15 inspiring and purposeful investigations are detailed over the 6 sections, and all are all linked to the events of the story.
  • Each section is introduced by a real character – from a young boy watching the ship being built in Belfast – to a Ship’s Steward from Liverpool, thinking about why the ship sank.
  • Combines science with history and other curriculum areas

Here are two exciting examples of linked-up learning from the book

A French passenger, Christabel Du Bouche, was on deck as Titanic struck the iceberg. She says:

“The iceberg has done so much damage! I wonder how much of it is underwater?”

Children investigate icebergs by making ice balloons. They measure volumes by displacement and consider the effect of temperature on the rate of melting.

Jim Gordon Jones, a senior radio operator from Glasgow, asks “How does Titanic send her distress signals?”

Children build a switch to send an SOS signal and learn Morse Code!

You might use this book:

  • As a class topic for a half term
  • As a whole-school topic for science week
  • As part of your wider planning for individual topics on – Forces, Energy, Electricity or the Properties of Materials.

The PSTT website offers free supporting materials to go alongside this book, including videos and curriculum grids.

Look out for blogs highlighting the following PSTT resources:


The Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) have a vision to see excellent teaching of science in every classroom in the UK

There is much to explore on their web site, including many free digital downloads, videos, and excellent support for subject leaders.