Cook and Banks: Charting the rumoured great Southern Land


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.

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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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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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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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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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!


workshop 1Yesterday and today we are meeting with a bunch of interesting folks to look at what curriculum material we could develop for our massive new program – the Warships Pavilion. This ambitious project to develop an amazing new visitor facility on our wharf between HMAS Onslow and HMAS Vampire will feature highly interactive experiences that will reinvigorate our visitors’ relationships with our vessels, the waterfront and the broader museum precinct.

The warships experience is comprised of two interrelating components – the construction of a building (referred to as the pavilion) and the development of new interpretation for the vessels (referred to as the experience). The experience development seeks to bring the stories of our vessels to life and significantly enliven the visitors’ experience of our Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels. The experience seeks to be BOLD, UNIQUE and CONFRONTING.

Interesting and thoughtful presentation from Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) staff about the history and technology national curriculum were followed by Jack Ludden from the J Paul Getty Institute taking us on a journey through cool online resources and the New Media Consortium Horizon reports, with an emphasison the K-12 report; the 2014 Library Edition and the 2013 Museum Edition.

We started a Twitter hashtag #warshipbootcamp where we are posting thoughts, images, resources links so follow us and join the conversation!

More to follow…