Podcast: Teaching STEM lessons using maritime history


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Teaching STEM lessons using maritime history

Teaching STEM lessons using maritime history


From shipwrecks & salvage to ship engines and sails, the maritime heritage of every country affords a context that students of all ages can relate to. We chat with Anne Doran, an education officer at the Australian National Maritime Museum and find out how her background as a teacher librarian and gallery attendant has helped her craft marine science lessons that grab student’s imagination. From oceanography to exhibits on the evacuation of Pompeii, Australia’s premier maritime museum is certainly an interesting place to visit… let’s dive in!

About Anne Doran

Anne Doran from Australian National Maritime Museum

Anne has been an education officer at the Australian National Maritime Museum since 2012. Prior to that role, she was a Teacher Librarian in primary schools. Anne has developed a passion for science recently through observing two of her children who are self-confessed “Science Nerds” and have recently embarked on their scientific careers. Through ANMM she has had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of people in the scientific world and create science programs for schools that showcase the museum’s commitment to STEAM in education. One of the programs that she has been involved with since its creation is the annual Women in Symposium aimed to encourage girls into STEM careers.

Top 3 Learnings


  1. Let students explore for themselves. As much as we like to be the ‘sage on the stage’ there is also a time when you just need to be quiet and let the students go for it… with the subsequent result in your role transforming to being a mentor & coach. Students will learn to find out things for themselves and our role as classroom practitioners will be richer for it.
  2. Explore museums! You would be surprised how much science can be found in museums of all types and the Australian National Maritime Museum is certainly brimming with exhibits that command the attention of learners. If your school is too remote to be viable for visiting a museum, you can always connect virtually with museum educators using web conferencing technology.
  3. Wherever possible try to have your lessons weave history and science together. Not only does it produce a rich narrative for students to be engaged with, it also provides a context as to why a discovery or invention occurred in the first place.
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About the FizzicsEd Podcast

With interviews with leading science educators and STEM thought leaders, this science education podcast is about highlighting different ways of teaching kids within and beyond the classroom. It’s not just about educational practice & pedagogy, it’s about inspiring new ideas & challenging conventions of how students can learn about their world!

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