BLOG 1: Introducing our Educator on Board – Chris Meagher

By January 30th, 2019

head shot of man in glassses on back of ship with sea and land in background

By Chris Meagher – Educator on Board

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I have been teaching for 13 years and prior to that worked as a civil engineer for 10 years. I teach junior Science, Physics and Earth and Environmental Science at Mt Gravatt High School in Brisbane, Queensland.

What inspired you to apply for the Educator on Board program?

I applied for this trip to work with scientists in the field and to learn more about plate tectonics and hot spots. I’m really interested in bringing these topics to life in the classroom and grabbing my students’ interest.

My goal for this trip is to develop engaging curriculum materials related to geology for junior and senior science.

One of the main challenges we face in teaching geology in high school is the student perception that the subject is boring and so as educators we need to find ways to make it more engaging and relevant. Another challenge is that many science teachers do not have a strong background in geology and so are less confident teaching it compared to the other sciences.

I am currently writing units for the new Earth and Environmental Science subject which my school is commencing in 2019, and I am keen to include geological content from our local area and the wider Australian context.

I’ve already started thinking about some ways we can make geology more engaging. We can:

  • Develop units which include the geology of the local area as well as Australian geology;
  • Provide local examples of hot-spot volcanos;
  • Link geological changes to the evolution of life on Earth; and
  • Build teacher knowledge in geology (and in plate tectonics in particular).

What are you most looking forward to seeing aboard the vessel?

I am excited to see how the seabed mapping equipment operates and to see what we pull out of the deep abyss!

Sunset view of ladn and water and some of the ship, from onboard the ship

Sunset from the RV Investigator

Sunset from the RV Investigator