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U.S. Navy Museum Cold War Gallery Lesson Plan
Missiles on a Mission!
Developed by Rhonda Crawford, Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg, MS
2011 Naval Historical Foundation STEM teacher fellowship
  Instructional Goal

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Teamwork is essential for survival and safety of a submarine and its crew in the U.S. Navy. Ballistic missile submarines have fleet ballistic missiles to deter the threat of nuclear war, or to use in defense of our country. It is vital to use good teamwork skills during all submarine and missile operations.

Students will apply concepts of teamwork, planning, design, building and testing of a missile.

Submarine Missions

The many missions a submarine may be required to accomplish require training and teamwork.
play videoSubmarine Attack Center:  This video on the attack center of Navy submarines is part of the Covert Submarine Operations Exhibit, located in the Cold War Gallery, Washington Navy Yard. The Cold War Gallery is the latest addition to the National Museum of the United States Navy.

Submarine Teamwork

Observe how one submarine crew trains and works together.
play videoBattlestations:  It's all hands on deck as the crew of a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered sub prepares for battle.

play videoTeamwork:  It takes a team of 140 working together to make every submarine mission a success.

Design Process and Teamwork

View tutorial on the "Design Process and Teamwork".

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Crossing the Rapid River!

  • To emphasize the responsibility of each individual of a team to accomplish the goal
  • To explore problem solving, communication skills, cooperation, planning, roles and expectations in teamwork situations

There is a rapid river that your team must cross to reach safety! There is one "stepping stone" (carpet square) per 2 people. If any part of you touches the "river" (floor), you will be swept away by the rapid river!

  1. Mark the river with rope (or something comparable such as cones or masking tape to put boundaries for the left, right, beginning shoreline, and ending shoreline). This will probably be from 15-25 feet.
  2. Each group of 2 will receive one carpet square. If there is an odd number of students give the last person a carpet square.
  3. Anyone that touches the river will be swept away by the river. If anyone touches the "river" at all, even if some part is still on a tile, the group will have to start over.


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