Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts
The Honourable Ros Bates

Museum school kits show the science in Indigenous culture

Arts Minister Ros Bates today announced a Queensland Museum initiative that will help Queensland schools learn how science played a part in the traditional practices of Aboriginal people.

“These loan kits are the first of their kind to be developed for Queensland schools. They show how the Museum, through its campus Museum of Tropical Queensland, is bringing learning to life in a way that aligns with the state’s cultural heritage and the new Australian Science Curriculum,” Ms Bates said.

“The new kits, supported by BHP Billiton Cannington, examine the sophisticated science that underpins Aboriginal culture. The kits feature items from the Museum’s collection and provide insight into how chemistry, physics and biology were used in the traditional practices of Aboriginal people.”

Ms Bates said the kits would give students the opportunity to connect with their learning more deeply by providing a hands-on experience.

“For example, the Aboriginal Science: Rainforest kit helps to better understand the uses of North Queensland objects while the Aboriginal Technology & Trade kit explores traditional North Queensland trade routes through objects,” she said.

“Being able to hold and examine real objects means students can discover first-hand the role and importance of science in Aboriginal culture.

“Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for many thousands of years and over this time have developed some unique and sophisticated technologies allowing them to survive.

“The boomerang is an example of a highly specialised instrument that harnesses the complex laws of physics, and has meant Aboriginal people can hunt much more effectively.”

BHP Billiton Cannington Head of Community Jane Moss said she was thrilled to partner with Queensland Museum to produce these kits.

“BHP Billiton understands the value in helping our school children gain greater exposure to and understanding of Aboriginal culture,” Ms Moss said.

“Through this partnership, we can give an important educational tool and unique resource for Queensland students.”

The kits were launched at the Museum of Tropical Queensland. Teacher familiarisation sessions will be held in the Townsville, Charters Towers, Burdekin, Hinchinbrook and McKinlay areas over the coming months.

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