Why did the Titanic sink?

Yesterday (Monday 20th March) Primary 5 were exploring these questions in some depth.

Firstly we came up with our own theories regarding the reasons(s) why the Titanic sank which included;

  • the weight if it was balanced
  • the mass and density of the Titanic made it float
  • The turbines and propellers made it float by spinning
  • it was made with enough density
  • the funnels had air going out
  • it was made of metal
  • the shape of the metal allowed it to float
  • there was a lot of air on the Titanic
  • it was very spacious – air on board
  • lots of hollow spaces

I am sure you will agree that Primary 5 really thought very hard at this and did very well at giving reasons and when questioned further were able to justify their reasons.


Today we had a guest in the class to help us answer this question and allowed us to have a deeper discussion and develop our understanding. They were all so engaged in the lesson and the questions that the class were asking were just fab!

Today we learned that the Titanic stayed afloat through buoyancy where the upward thrust of a force allowed it to float – when something is placed in water it will sink until it moves enough water to support it.

The reason the Titanic sank = it hit an iceberg and ripped a hole in its hull. water then poured into the hull and the ship became too heavy – there was not enough support or upward thrust to help it float.

Why did it sink diagonally and why did it snap?

  • Think about a seesaw – more weight at one end will lift the other up, so one end of the Titanic came out of the water. The end that was in the water was filled with water and pulling the ship down. The end that was in the air did not have the support from the water and so became heavy (because it was made of metal) and therefore snapped.


Primary 5 really did a brilliant job today of digging deeper into these questions and have developed a good understanding of them now. Their questioning and reasoning was great!

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