Careers in science and museums: Meeting our conservators

Textile conservator Sue Frost. Image: ANMM.

Textile conservator Sue Frost. Image: ANMM.

What a museum without its collection? The stories we tell are imbued in the objects the museum collects and the conservation department is tasked with caring for these objects. Our conservation team look after a range of artefacts, from paper to paintings, ceramics, textiles and even archaeological material recovered from the seabed. From small coins to the HMB Endeavour replica, every object is condition reported, treated and conserved. The team monitor the environmental conditions our objects are either stored or displayed in, checking light levels, relative humidity and maintaining a stable temperature.

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The Voyage game: One year on

The Voyage, an online game exploring the convict experience. Image: ANMM.

The Voyage, an online game exploring the convict experience. Image: ANMM.

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.

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Climb inside the head of a museum curator: #AskACurator 2016

Ask A Curator logo 2016.

This Wednesday, 14 September, we’re participating in International #AskACurator Day on Twitter and Facebook. It’s an opportunity to ask our curators about anything that you are curious about or would like more information on. Our curatorial team will be on standby to answer your curliest questions about our collections, exhibitions and programs. Simply ask your question using the hashtag #AskACurator and mention @ANMMuseum in your tweet or leave the question on our Facebook post.

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Thinking ‘inside the box’: Exploring the UTS Micro-CSI lab

UTS Micro-CSI on site at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Image: Andrew Frolows, 2016 / ANMM.

UTS Micro-CSI on site at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Image: Andrew Frolows, 2016 / ANMM.

The UTS Micro-CSI, on site at the Australian National Maritime Museum during National Science Week

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the ‘invention’ of the shipping container. As a cornerstone of the global economy, the humble steel box has revolutionised the way we live in profound ways. From the food on our plates to our clothes and mobile phones, there are very few items today that don’t travel to us by sea.

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Using Twitter to provide virtual tours

Rough Medicine

Rough Medicine was used to experiment with virtual tours via social media.

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.

ANMM Education logoLearning Systems logo

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.

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National Science Week 2016 at the Museum

Micro-CSI Lab: University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Image: UTS.

Micro-CSI Lab: University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Image: UTS.

The museum will be running a series of exciting science-themed events and programs to celebrate this year’s National Science Week.

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Ships, Clocks and Stars FREE teacher preview this June

Teacher preview of ANMM exhibitions 'Ships, Clocks & Stars' and Endeavour tour.

Teacher preview of ANMM exhibitions ‘Ships, Clocks & Stars’ and Endeavour tour.

Join us for a private viewing of this fascinating and beautiful exhibition on Thursday 16 June 5.00pm – 7.00pm. Hear about our exciting new school programs and board HMB Endeavour to experience what life was really like on an 18th-century vessel. Afterwards, see the museum’s Vivid display – a spectacular rooftop projection viewed from our special vantage point.

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World Environment Day: where do you think it goes?

Join wacky expert Professor Pufferfish and field agent Greene McClean for World Environment Day. Image: ANMM.

Join wacky expert Professor Pufferfish and field agent Greene McClean for World Environment Day. Image: ANMM.

Join wacky expert Professor Pufferfish and field agent Greene McClean will find out what happens to the rubbish we leave behind. If it finds its way into our drains and waterways it can affect our wildlife and our environment. During this virtual excursion students work with our intrepid investigators to work out how we can all help in a practical way.

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NAIDOC week: unlock water and Indigenous People

NAIDOC week with the ANMM via the Virtual Classroom. Image: ANMM.

NAIDOC week with the ANMM via the Virtual Classroom. Image: ANMM.

A virtual excursion suitable for students in Years 3 to 6

To celebrate NAIDOC week, Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens and special guest Uncle Terry will discuss the cultural significance of water to Indigenous people.

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Inspiring stories with Jeannie Baker

 Jeannie Baker illustration from her book Circle.

Detail from the cover of Jeannie Baker’s new book ‘Circle’. Image: Jeannie Baker.

The Australian National Maritime Museum is proud to host award winning children’s author and artist Jeannie Baker for an exclusive chat. Join us as we talk to Jeannie about her new picture Circle. Find out about Jeannie, her background, her inspirations and what it like creating a picture book.

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Twitter tour of Rough Medicine for school students

Rough Medicine
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.

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Using Twitter to Explore Our Museum

Tour the museum via tweets. Images: ANMM.

Tour the museum via tweets. Images: ANMM.

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.

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The Voyage Game: launches today!

SplashPage am.pngToday we are officially launching our 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 project is a joint venture between the museum and roar film Tasmania, the University of Tasmania, Screen Australia and Screen Tasmania. The Voyage takes players on a journey from London to Van Diemen’s Land (now known as Tasmania) where, in the role of the ship’s Surgeon Superintendent, they are rewarded for the number of healthy convicts they deliver to the fledging British colony. The game is based on detailed historical data, utilising documented ship paths, convict and medical records and diaries.

Why a game for a museum? Research has shown that digital games have an enormous impact on the lives of children but their potential to improve learning has not yet been realised. Salen (2012) recognised the synergies between gaming and learning: “We see a huge intersection between games and learning, partially because the way game environments are structured is a lot like what good learning looks like”. However, relatively little is known about the ways in which students respond to different types of educational games, in different types of educational contexts, for different types of discipline or subject areas. This includes a lack of information about the difference between playing an ‘educational’ game at home, at school, or in another environment, such as a museum.

To investigate these issues further the museum partnered with Griffith University to undertake a series of studies with students in Year 9 (aged around 14–15 years) looking at their responses to playing games generally and their reactions to The Voyage specifically through questionnaires and focus groups. Some of the student comments included:

  • “[the game] combines audio, visual and kinaesthetic learning in a way that helps children, especially younger children who aren’t too interested in reading big blocks of text, to better absorb the information.”
  • “If you were to play the game in primary school and then you were to revisit the topic in high school, you’d have a better foundation which would help you just do better in history I guess, and appreciate history.”
  • “I did it [convicts topic] in Year Four. The method used was just sit in front of PowerPoint and try and take notes. I don’t know, but I retained just as much information from that game as I did from six hours of sitting in front of a PowerPoint learning information.”

The game is accompanied by online resource materials for students and teachers and a small pop-up exhibition with four text panels to accompany the game when on tour, as well as a series of four films to provide further context to the game:

  • The Descendants: descendants of convicts discuss their ancestors and how discovering their stories provides historical context about their life
  • The Historian: some of Australia’s leading convict historians dispel some of the myths about the voyages and convict life in general
  • Women and Children: Convict historians talk about the experience of women and children convicts
  • The Creators: game developers talk about some of the challenges involved in making the game fun but also historically correct

You can play the game online now. Enjoy!

How to make painted polar pillows

The finished penguin pillow

Painting of South Georgia by Bernard Ollis, 2014

Painting of South Georgia by Bernard Ollis, 2014.

Down in Antarctica there are penguins, bergs and impasto blue skies; ice white shores, swirling winds and wondrous wilderness. This month we’ve been inspired by the sublime land and seascapes of the polar South in our beautiful Painting for Antarctica exhibition—works by Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis—to create some painted polar pillow crafts of our very own.

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‘The fate that launched a thousand ships’: What happened to the Franklin expedition?

The mystery surrounding Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition in search of the Northwest Passage has been a part of Canada’s identity for nearly 170 years. A lecture at the University of Sydney last Friday gave many engrossing insights into the story, and can be viewed online.

Franklin’s party of two ships and 129 men disappeared without trace in their quest to find the Northwest Passage, setting in train a series of unsuccessful rescue missions that would claim many more ships and lives. Last year, the wreck of HMS Erebus, one of Franklin’s lost vessels, was finally discovered 11 metres under water in the north of Canada.

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