By: Lloyd Godson
One of our key roles as Educators on Board is to share our experience with students across Australia through live ship-to-shore video broadcasts. Today I had the privilege of connecting with two schools simultaneously, The Nature School Primary and Hastings Secondary College Westport Campus, in my hometown of Port Macquarie. The audience ranged in age from 5 year old Kindergarten students to 16 year old Year 10 Science students. Both groups of children were highly engaged throughout the live connection, evident by the number and range of questions they asked Dr Ben Arthur and I at the conclusion of the tour. We commenced our tour on the aft main deck and made our way up through the operations room, mess, the bridge and concluded on the observation deck. The view today was spectacular.
This particular live connection was made extra special when my 7 year old son, Oliver, asked, “What technology does the ship use to make it possible for us to speak with you?” Some of my Science students asked about the different species of seabirds we have observed so far (over 3000 individuals from 30 taxa). Communicating the science to live audiences has been the highlight of the voyage for me. We really do provide a window into the real world application of STEM at sea. As we were closing the call, I could hear Catherine Oehlman, head teacher at The Nature School, say, “How cool was that?! We actually go to speak with real scientists on a research vessel somewhere between Victoria and Antarctica!” I’ve since heard that they’ve spent the afternoon measuring out the wingspans of some different species of Albatross and investigating the Burranan Dolphin that we believe we sighted earlier in the week. How cool is that?!