Submarine Science School




Join the crew of the USS Pampanito (more about the Pampanito) and learn the workings of WWII submarine technology. During their “patrol”, students explore and experiment with the basic scientific principles that enable a submarine to work: Buoyancy, Batteries, Sonar, Navigation and Periscopes. Available as an overnight or day program.



Students will:

  • explore practical applications of scientific concepts using an interdisciplinary approach
  • develop specific science skills
  • develop teamwork and social skills


Students board the USS Pampanito and are presented with 5 hands-on science stations. Four of the stations have staff members to supervise activities. The “Making a Chemical Battery” station is taught by the teacher.

Students are given individual notebooks (supplied by the Pampanito crew) in which to keep notes and track answers. At the end of the program, each student will receive a “Submarine Qualification” certificate. The crew with the best over all accuracy will receive an award at the end of the program.


Timeline approximate and subject to change:

  • 3:30 pm Arrive and check in
  • 3:50 pm Tour of submarine
  • 4:30 pm Tasks begin
  • 7:30 pm Dinner
  • 8:30 pm Historic board games on Crew’s Mess tables – BYO Game Pieces
  • 10:00 pm Lights out
  • 7:00 am All hands – Reveille
  • 7:30 am Off load gear – Clean up
  • 8:00 am Colors (raising the American flag), Awards Ceremony, Evaluation
  • 8:30 am End



  • Buoyancy – Make your own submarine
  • Sonar – Passive and active listening
  • Code and Navigation – Deciphering patrol orders and plotting course
  • Optics – Make a periscope
  • Chemistry – Make a battery

7th/8th Grade Students:

10 – 10:15am Welcome

Sub Rules

10:15 – 10:45am Audio Tour of Submarine
10:45 – 11:00am Tour of Historic Artifacts on the Pier
11:00 – 11:50am Head Call & Lunch

11:50am – 13 Four 25 min. Stations:

Battery, Buoyancy, Sonar, Periscopes

Rotation 1: 11:50 – 12:15pm
Rotation 2: 12:15 – 12:40pm
Rotation 3: 12:40 – 13:05pm
Rotation 4: 13:05 – 13:30pm

13:30 – 13:45pm Wrap Up & Goodbye

4th/5th Grade Students:

10 – 10:15am Welcome

Sub Rules

10:15 – 10:35am Tour of Historic Artifacts on the Pier

10:35am – Four 25 min. Stations:

On-Board History Tour, Buoyancy, Sonar, Periscopes with Lunch Break

Rotation 1: 10:35-11:00am
Rotation 2: 11:05-11:30am
Lunch Break & Head Call 11:30 – 11:50am
Rotation 3: 11:55-12:20pm
Rotation 4: 12:20-12:45pm

1245 – 13:00pm Wrap Up & Goodbye


Group Size and Cost: (Maximum 35 Students:

$2,160 flat fee – up to 27 students/7 adults. Add $80 per student for 28 – 35 students.
1-on-1 aides are no charge.


Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays, mid September through the first week of May


Deposit Information:


When booking an Education Program at USS Pampanito, the required deposit is the program minimum charge.  For example, if a group wishes to book a Submarine Science School program, the minimum deposit to book is $2,160 with the remainder of the invoice due within 90 days of the program date.

This deposit is nonrefundable within 90 days of the program date.  Cancellations must be made and acknowledged in writing by both parties.  If the program is cancelled due to inclement weather, closure of the USS Pampanito due to emergency maintenance & repair, natural disaster such as fire or earthquake, or otherwise a reason outside of both parties control, then full effort will be made for a complete refund or accommodating the group at a different date.


Make Deposit Check Payable To SFMNPA And Mail Deposit/Contract To:

SFMNPA ATTN: Dylan Drovdal
P.O. Box 470310
San Francisco, CA

Please note your group’s name and date of visit on your check!


Please contact Education Director Dylan Drovdal with any questions about booking or the new deposit policy.

Phone: (415) 775-1943 x 1056




The Calendar fills quickly! Call Now to make a reservation.

For more information or to make reservations, please contact Education Director, Dylan Drovdal.

Phone: (415) 775-1943 x 1056