Build and Float a Cable Ship

Build and Float a Cable Ship

Our STEAM activity for February is to build a paper origami cable ship at home. Once the ship has been built, you can then try and float this in the kitchen sink (or large bowl of water), and test out its buoyancy.

How is this activity related to PK Porthcurno?

Just like in the days of the electric telegraph, most of our international telecommunications travel through undersea cables. A well-designed ship is important for laying and repairing cables.

Most ships today, including cable ships, are made of steel, which sinks in water. They float, and can carry heavy loads, because their shape means they are mostly air on the inside. We call this idea buoyancy. Buoyancy was first explained over 2000 years ago by Archimedes. You can learn about Archimedes and buoyancy at

Cable Ship digital image

Download the instructions to make your own origami cable ship!

Once you’ve made your cable ship, do decorate it and take a photo, or video them floating, and share on our social media channels – we’d love to see them! #pkporthcurno #playfulmuseums #steamexplorers #pkships

Build and Float a Cable Ship
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