Cannon STEM Book of the Month

May 2016

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From the Publisher

Clink! Clankety-bang! Thump-whirr! That's the sound of Papa at work. Although he is an inventor, he has never made anything that works perfectly, and that's because he hasn't yet found a truly fantastic idea. But when he takes his family fishing on Lake Michigan, his daughter Virena asks, "Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a fish?"--and Papa is off to his workshop. With a lot of persistence and a little bit of help, Papa--who is based on the real-life inventor Lodner Phillips--creates a submarine that can take his family for a trip to the bottom of Lake Michigan.
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Submarine Design Challenge

In Papa's Mechanical Fish, inventor Lodner Phillips, was one of the creators of the first modern submarines.


Design a submarine that can be submerged underwater for 3 full minutes and is able to keep a cotton ball dry.


-Using ANY recycled materials you would like, design a submarine that is able to be submerged underwater for 3 full minutes.

-Recycled materials used, must be different from their original form. (For example: any parts of a water bottle may be used, but not a water bottle in it's original form.)

-Designs may be self-submerging, or submerged with assistance by the designer.

-Designs must be no larger than a shoebox in size.

Submersion Day:

-Each designer will be given one cotton ball that will need to be placed in the submarine on our launch day and that cotton ball must be kept dry once it has been submerged underwater for 3 full minutes.

Think about it....

What materials will work best underwater? What materials will not dissolve when wet?

All designs due by Friday, May 20th! If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Berumen!

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About the Author

Candace Fleming is the prolific author of many critically acclaimed, bestselling books for children, including the picture books "Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! "(an ALA Notable Book and four starred reviews), and "Boxes for Katie "(a Junior Library Guild Selection and a "Publishers Weekly "Best Book of 2003); the nonfiction titles "Our Eleanor "(an ALA Notable Book, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and three starred reviews) and "Ben Franklin's Almanac "(an ALA Notable Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, James Madison Honor Book, and three starred reviews). She lives in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.
Papa's Mechanical Fish Read Aloud