Virtual Tour of a Real WWII German Submarine!

April 20th, 2007 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
U-505 Submarine at the Museum of Science and Industry

Age Range: 9 and up, with lesson plans designed for ages 9-12

“A German submarine known as U-505… terrorized the Atlantic Ocean as part
of a massive U-boat campaign that almost altered the outcome of World War
II. At this website, The Museum of Science and Industry offers an
opportunity to virtually step inside the real U-505. The only German
submarine in the United States, it is now a national memorial to the sailors
who gave their lives on the high seas in WWI and WWII.”

When you get to the site, you can choose to take the “Photo Tour” or the
“Panoramic Movie Tour.” For both tours, you can click on any part of the
submarine to see what it looks like inside and get a description of what
happened there, how everything works, and so on. No matter which option you
choose, you will see all of the same information, but in the panoramic
version you can “click and drag” for a more interactive tour. The panoramic
version also requires that you click “Learn more about this area” (located
directly below the panoramic movie screen) to see the explanatory text.

But that’s not all that’s available on this site! Students may wish to
explore all of the links across the top of the screen to learn even more
about the history and technology of the U-505 while viewing more of the
online exhibit. Teachers and parents can click on “Resources” for a complete
downloadable .pdf teacher’s manual relating to the material on this site
(Note: Some of it assumes teachers/parents are actually visiting the
real-time exhibit with students.) Be certain to click “On-Line Activities”
to enjoy:

  • Find the U-505. “Use cutting-edge technologies from 1944 to track down and
    capture the sub.” Each technological process is briefly explained and
    demonstrated, then you need to try your hand at them. Find the location of
    the submarine in a message written in secret code, then find the sub on your
    radar (make sure you don’t get a whale by mistake!), zero in on it, and fire
    depth charges at it before it blows you up! Your superior officer will issue
    commands from time to time; be sure to respond with “Aye, Sir!” :)
  • Command the U-505. This time, you are the commander of the German sub.
    Will you survive this confrontation? Will German military secrets be kept
    safe from prying Allies? Your Lieutenant will keep you apprised of the
    situation and await your commands. (Since you are the commander, you won’t
    be saying “Aye, Sir!”) On each page you will see links in the sidebar such
    as, “Learn more about how hydrophones work” and “What really happened.” If
    you try to use your browser’s back-arrow to go back and read them all, you
    will exit the game and have to start all over. But don’t worry. At the
    game’s conclusion, all of these links reappear in one handy menu at the left
    of your screen for you to browse at your leisure. Be sure to do so! This is
    really fascinating, especially after you have commanded a U-505! :)
  • Capture! An interactive timeline relating all of the events that led up to
    the U-505’s capture by the U.S.S. Guatemala. A thrilling real-life action
    adventure tale!

And for those of you who live in the area or plan to visit soon, there is a
tour link at the bottom of the home page (you may need to scroll down a
little) which allows you to purchase tickets for a physical tour of the
actual submarine, located at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago,
IL. (After exploring this website, you just may want to go in person if


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