Secondary Schools

Taxonomy Tales

Did you know that world class taxonomic science is happening right here in Townsville? The Museum’s current marine biologists and palaeontologists have described 21 species between them with more on the way. The Museum also holds over 110,000 specimens from the smallest invertebrates to a Dwarf Minke Whale skeleton, and includes the largest collection of Great Barrier Reef corals in the world.

Students will gain an appreciation for the role of museums in the classification and preservation of living things, compare coral and bryozoan specimens, and complete a taxonomic table locating examples of 20 given classes or orders representing the five major phyla displayed in the Museum’s natural history exhibits.


This program was written for the Australian Curriculum Senior Biology 'Unit 1: Biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life' and can be adapted to suit any secondary audience.


Curriculum: Science │ Biological Science │ Senior Biology │ Science as a Human Endeavour


Uncovering Pandora

Students will learn of the fascinating stories of the HMS Pandora, from her voyage across the Pacific to try and locate the mutineers of the infamous HMS Bounty and the tales of survival from her wrecking on the Great Barrier Reef in 1791, to the modern day archaeological excavation of the maritime wreck and the work of Museum staff in conserving its artefacts for generations to come.

This program provides learning from a local historical site, complements aspects of the Year 9 History curriculum and supports the archaeological components of the QCAA senior histories syllabi.

Curriculum: HASS │ History │ Senior Ancient History │ Senior Modern History

Shipwreck Chemistry

Students will be taken on a special behind the scenes tour to the Museum's Conservation Lab and Maritime History Store, where they will learn about what happens to objects when they have been underwater for hundreds of years and how Museum staff use electrochemistry to conserve shipwreck artefacts and sites. Examples discussed may include the use of sacrificial anodes placed at shipwreck sites, the use of desalination and electrolysis to conserve one of the Pandora's six pounder cast iron cannons, and other material conservation techniques.

This program provides practical examples of oxidation and reduction concepts learnt in Australian Curriculum Senior Chemistry 'Unit 3: Equilibrium, acids and redox reactions'. This program is dependent upon Conservator and/or Collection Manager availability, is run in small groups and requires closed in footwear.

Curriculum: Science │ Chemistry │ Senior Chemistry │ Science as a Human Endeavour

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