In 1945 the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri, which signalled the end of hostilities between Japan and the Allied forces. As part of the War and Peace in the Pacific 75 Education Program, we invited schools from the USA, Japan and Australia to investigate the impact of WWII on their community and make documentary videos of what they found. As a climax to this program, student ambassadors from one school in each county attended a Friendship Ceremony on board the USS Missouri to mark the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbour. The student ambassadors each gave a speech on their commitment to maintain and promote peace in the Pacific. They also signed a friendship agreement between Australia, the USA and Japan.
This year the formal learning team, funded through the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund, embarked on a new and very different project, reflecting on the cumulative 75th anniversaries relating to World War II in the Pacific. We invited schools from the USA, Japan and Australia to research and reflect on significant battles from the conflict in the Pacific.
Three years ago the museum’s education team and the NSW Department of Education began to investigate how to run a student-centred research program to engage high school students with stories from World War II (WWII). This program would mark the significant anniversaries of the WWII battles in the Pacific. Eight high schools from Australia and the USA joined the scheme this year to research ‘War and Peace in the Pacific 75 years’, a project funded by the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Australia, the New South Wales Department of Education – Learning Systems Directorate and supported by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.
The Australian National Maritime Museum and Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney will offering a joint video conference for year 3 and 4 students History and Science.
Cook and Banks: Charting the rumoured great Southern Land is a free video conference which will outline Cook and Banks voyage on the HMB Endeavour. It will be presented by our curator Kieran Hosty and Mary Bell from Royal Botantical Gardens Sydney.
The video conference will investigate the story behind Cook and Banks’ voyage to the rumoured great Southern Land and include topics such as:
- The reason behind the momentous voyage.
- The voyage and conditions on board the HMB Endeavour.
- Cook’s role as a cartographer and navigator.
- Banks’ scientific contribution to the voyage and how his legacy began the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Herbarium collection.
- Learn how scientists classify plants and try your hand at botanic illustration.
- The enduring outcome of the voyage and how it changed Australian history.
- What happened the HMB Endeavour?
We will be offering six sessions of the Cook and Banks virtual excursion. The sessions will be offered on DART connections 3rd and 4th May at 10.00am, 11.30am and 2.00pm
— Anne Doran, Education Officer.
Find out more about our education programs on our website.
On 30 November 2015 the museum launched our new educational game, The Voyage, at the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery in Hobart.The Voyage is a ‘serious’ game based on the transportation of convicts from Britain to Van Diemen’s Land in the early nineteenth century. The game is a joint venture with Roar Film Tasmania, The Australian National Maritime Museum, University of Tasmania, Screen Tasmania and Screen Australia.
The Australian National Maritime Museum Learning team and the NSW Department of Education have embraced the use of social media to communicate and share exhibition content with teachers.
The Rough Medicine – Life and Death in the Age of Sail exhibition at the ANMM was shared online via Twitter through a series of live tweets containing photos, website links, video and 360° footage of the key objects on display. This content was then collated through Storify creating a long term re-usable resource for teachers to use in the classroom.
The Australian National Maritime Museum in partnership with the NSW Department of Education will share the Rough Medicine – Life and Death in the Age of Sail exhibition with teachers and students in a #TwitterTour.
The Australian National Maritime Museum site on the waterfront here at Darling Harbour is not your usual museum. We have exhibition galleries inside the museum as well as historic vessels which you can come aboard such as the HMB Endeavour Replica, navy destroyer HMAS Vampire and submarine HMAS Onslow.
There is a lot to explore, especially if you are a teacher visiting with a busload of school students. To help teachers become familiar with our site and prepare for school excursions we created an Orientation Tour For Visiting Teachers.
One of the things I love the most about working at the Australian National Maritime Museum is the ability to collaborate with other people on amazing projects. The education team have a project coming up soon that I am very excited about.
It all started with an exchange with David Foley (Manager of NSW DART Connections) and Paul Heinz from Hawaii’s Arizona memorial now known as the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Both thought it would be valuable to link students in the United States and Australia around the topic of the World War II with a focus on the conflict in and around the Pacific Ocean. The museum became involved after we were approached to tell the Australian story, thus the collaboration formed.
As part of our National Science Week grant (funded by Inspiring Australia) we partnered with Google Australia to trial using hangouts to connect with schools. This is the first time in Australia that an external institution has been invited to use hangouts outside of the school system and, while there were some initial teething problems, the execution and experience that the students are having has been seamless, and fun! So far six schools from around Australia have dialled in to listen to our underwater adventurer in residence, Lloyd Godson, talk about the science of living under the sea (more about Lloyd’s work can be found here).
It has long been recognised that students (and teachers!) are important audiences for museums, through both visiting our physical sites and interacting with us online. The educational value of field trips is also widely understood, as outlined in this post: “Taking students to an art museum improves critical thinking skills, and more”.
At the museum we have a talented and dedicated group of 22 or so teacher guides who, each year, deliver over 1,000 onsite programs to around 35,000 students, along with being great ambassadors for the museum and our educational values.
Thanks to all of you for your substantial efforts this year and looking forward to working with you in 2015!
And for those interested, here’s some further resources on museum education:
- Griffin, J. (2011). The museum education mix: students, teachers and museum educators. In Griffin, D. and Paroissien, L. Understanding Museums: Australian Museums and Museology.
- Kelly, L. (2014). Student Learning in Museums: what do we know? Blog post.
- Kelly, L. (2011). Student learning in museums resources. Blog post.
- Museum Commons blog
- Museum Questions blog
- Museum Questions blog resource page