-->
Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Turning the Titanic

| 3 Comments

Over fifteen hundred people died when the "unsinkable" Titantic sank in 1912, just days into the passenger steamship's first trip from Southampton, England to New York City. Collision with an iceberg undisputedly
caused the tragedy, but recent news has raised the possibility that human error also played a role in the accident.

Suspicions and possibilities floated to the surface last week as news sources reported on Louise Patten's claim that her grandfather, Charles Lightoller, second officer on the Titanic's only trip, claimed to have had reports from the captain and first officer that a steering mistake had turned the ship into the iceberg rather than away from it. The mistake, if indeed it happened that way, may be attributed to a change in steering systems at that time, a move away from the "tiller" system (where you push right to go left and vice versa) to a system more like modern cars—you turn the way you want to go.

While Patten reportedly told his wife his account of what happened after the tragedy, he never revealed the possibility of human error in his meetings with investigators. Most likely, the truth will never be known for certain. But the news offers ground for speculation, and it's at the heart of a new novel by Patten.

The following projects might be smooth sailing for those interested in hydrodynamics and curious about events that may have coincided to down the famed ship:

Have an interest in ships? Check out our career information on Ship and Boat Captains



3 Comments

I already knew all this im going to tell my sience teacher bout this site its really help full!

This is an awesome article although I already knew about it I am going to let my friends know about this site. We have a science fair coming up so I think that this will really help get some ideas.

yeah this site actually gave me the idea for my science fair project... will use this site forever!

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with tonic water and a black light to learn more about fluorescence and light energy!

thumbnail
Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!

thumbnail
Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.

thumbnail
With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.

thumbnail
Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.