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Mission Director

The Mission Director is in overall charge of the expedition, and is responsible for planning the expedition to explore the deep ocean. They work with a lot of different people to make sure everything goes well from scientists to engineers, and boat captains to submarine pilots. As a Mission Director, you will need to have a good understanding of the ocean, how to explore the deep sea and some of the life you might expect to find.

Ages 8+

60-180 minutes

To help with the planning of our deep sea mission, the Mission Director needs a diagram showing the different layers of the ocean and extra information about underwater exploration and some of the life found in the deep. It is very important that your diagram is to scale, otherwise the expedition might get lost!

Activity steps - Chalk version

  1. First you need to measure out a space for your ocean diagram. This should be a whole number of meters, e.g. 2m, 3m, 4m, to make measuring the different ocean zones easier.
  2. Mark the top and bottom of your ocean diagram with lines 50cm wide, and then join them up to form a long, thin rectangle.
  3. Continue with the 'Activity steps - Both versions' below.

Activity steps - Paper version

  1. To make a paper version of your ocean diagram, you need to stick sheets of paper together to make a long, thin rectangle.
  2. Lay sheets of paper on the floor and add enough to make a total length of 2m.
  3. Continue with the 'Activity steps - Both versions' below.

Activity steps - Both versions

  1. Now mark and label 1000m intervals along the side of your ocean diagram. This will divide your diagram into ten equal sections. If your total diagram is 2m long, each 1000m marker will be 20cm apart.
  2. As the sunlight layer is very thin, you will need to divide the top 1000m into five equal sections of 200m each. If your total diagram is 2m long, each 200m marker will be 4cm apart.
  3. Mark and label the different zones on your diagram using the information on the Deep sea poster or the 'Find out more' tab of this activity.
  4. Choose different colors to shade these zones using chalk or paint. Maybe different shades going from lighter to darker, to show how sunlight only gets through the very top layers of the ocean.
  5. Add more information to your diagram. Use the Deep sea poster to add different examples of underwater exploration and animals on your diagram. Make sure these are at the correct depths.

    If you are using paper, you can draw these on separate bits of paper. Then cut these out and stick them on.

More ideas

Make it simple
For younger children, adults can create the paper version of the deep sea diagram. Download the Deep sea coloring booklet and have younger children color in some examples of deep sea life and exploration. Then cut these out and stick them at the correct depths. This can make a great wall display.

Safety guidance

  • Test chalk to make sure it is easy to wash off the surface you are using.
  • Use paints that are water soluble and easy to clean.
  • Use plastic sheeting to protect floors, fabric and surfaces if painting the ocean diagram.
  • Scissors should be child friendly and used under supervision.
  • Glue should be child friendly and used under supervision.

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