A Collection of exhibit-activities
This is the outline of an array of exhibit-activities designed to complement and enliven museum exhibitions that commemorate the 250th centenary of Captain Cook’s journey of discovery to New Zealand/Aotearoa and the East Coast of Australia. These exhibit-activities place Cook’s Endeavour voyage alongside earlier voyages of discovery by Kupe and Abel Tasman. By participating in activities and/or games visitors gain hands-on experience of Polynesian and European navigation methods, Dutch East India Company trading, the difficulties of exploring the vast unknown Pacific Ocean, and the tribulations of early communication between Polynesians and Europeans.
These exhibit-activities are ideal for school groups and families: They incorporate science, maths, navigation, astronomy, global weather patterns, botany, social history, and geography.
Digital files for constructing the exhibit-activities will be supplied at two different levels: those for hand-making and computer printing the components will be less than files for laser-cutting and professional printing and fabrication. This allows you to select the level of production according to your resources and the expected use of the exhibit.
1. Globe Building Activity: European Navigation
This is an activity in which participants learn about European navigational parameters, and the journeys of Tasman and Cook, by building a globe. Participants will learn navigational datum’s, and that latitude consists of even slices of the globe, whilst longitude is like slices of an orange, getting smaller towards the poles. They will learn about Tasman and Cook's voyages by placing illustrated incidents from the voyages at grid references on the globe. An additional activity to explain the Transit of Venus involves marking out 1 astronomical unit (au) in the scale of the globe, on a local map. Includes infographics on; the history of finding latitude and longitude at sea, the geometry behind laying out the globe, and the transit of Venus.
2. Interactive: Polynesian Navigation
Polynesians developed a system of star-path navigation that allowed them to accurately find tiny islands in a vast open sea at a time when Europeans were still hugging the coast. This interactive demonstrates how a Polynesian navigator relates his changing position to the changing night sky: an inner circle shows the relationship between latitude and star elevation, while an outer circle revolves star paths east to west across the sky during the night. As the waka moves south the southern star orbits rise, while the northern stars disappear below the horizon. This comes with an additional simple model to show the concept of “etak” ( island triangulation) in traditional Pacific navigation, and infographics on; how our latitude affects our view of the stars and the sun, and how prevailing wind affected Polynesian Migration routes.
Recommended size: 750mm diameter
3. “Master Navigator” Games
A series of “Master Navigator” board and card games simulate the conditions of maritime exploration experienced by Kupe, Tasman and Cook. By playing a series of games along the historical routes of these explorers, visitors come to appreciate the parameters of navigating across vast areas of uncharted ocean: The interweaving challenges of; prevailing winds and currents, dwindling supplies, and trading with local inhabitants. Players learn the advantages and disadvantages of sailing different routes: becalmed in the doldrums, fast in the roaring forties, impossible to sail against the prevailing wind. On Cook’s Endeavour voyage they discover transgressions and reconciliations of early Polynesian-European relationships. In the Dutch East India Co game, the profitability of trading from one country to the next must be balanced with the length of time spent at sea. On Polynesian voyages route instructions must be memorised, and course adjustments may be needed.
The games are played by moving a ship or waka across a “base map” of hexagonal tiles. The aim of each game is to arrive at the given destination the fastest, with the least loss of life, and/or with the most items traded or collected.
Each tile has a wind speed and direction which determines the distance and direction that the players can move for each turn. Wind direction, sea currents, land areas and items of trade or revictualling are shown on the base map. A separate cardboard frame defining the game area for each explorer is then placed over the base map. The area within the frame is then covered with tiles that correspond to the colours for each band of wind. The player is faced with a vast area of blue. They uncover parts of Oceania and the Pacific as they play: With each turn they remove the top tile to reveal the land or sea on the base map.
At each anchorage or port, players can trade for items, or resupply their vessels for further voyaging. Cards showing sailors, provisions and items for trade or collection, are taken on and off a "cargo board" as the game is played.
3.1 Master Navigator: Captain Cook
The Cook game will focus on the Endeavour’s journey from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope, via Tahiti, Aotearoa, the East Coast of Australia and Batavia (Jakarta). Whilst Cook, like Tasman and Kupe, was looking for new land and resources, his expedition also had scientific objectives including gathering of flora, fauna, ethnographic and navigational data, and establishing a cure for scurvy. At each anchorage there will be instructions for proceeding to the next anchorage. The ship must be provisioned with a specified number of “fresh food” and “water” cards before it can sail, and in Tahiti a “Transit of Venus” card and a “Tupaia” card must be picked up before proceeding to Aotearoa. There will also be some black “cultural transgression” cards which prevent trading until a "friendship" card is drawn or gifts are given. All cards will have a short text on their reverse sides explaining their historical basis: the transgressions, reconciliations and needs of both cultures. At Batavia, “bad water” and “malaria” cards lead to the loss of sailors. At each anchorage “flora” cards can be collected. The winner will be the player to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope with the most crew members, and flora cards.
3.2 Master Navigator: Abel Tasman & The Dutch East India Co.
Abel Tasman found Aotearoa whilst searching for profitable goods for the Dutch East India Co. The Abel Tasman component includes 2 games: The first encompasses trading along the main Dutch East India Co routes east of Cape Town whilst the second is about the voyage on which Tasman discovered New Zealand.
The aim of the Dutch East India Co game is to make a profit. The winners are the ship to reach Batavia, within a given number of turns, with the greatest wealth in trade items. Players will find the early Dutch East India Co route around the east of Africa through the doldrums to be slow, with much loss of life due to scurvy, whilst the later Brouwer route through the roaring forties is much faster.
The second game is about Tasman’s circumnavigation of Australia from Batavia, via Mauritius, with the discovery of NZ on the way. The winners are the ship to return to Batavia with the least number of turns, with and the greatest amount of coastline discovered. If a player ends up in the middle of the land they are shipwrecked, so they must start again!
Comes with infographics on; The Dutch East India Co and trade routes, and an early incorrect European map of the Pacific.
Recommended size 1.5 x 1.3m
3.2 Master Navigator: Kupe
For the Kupe game a star compass will be placed over the base map: a circle with the setting and rising of constellations marked on the perimeter. Players then navigate from Hawaii, Rapanui or Samoa, via and Raoul Island to Aotearoa. Players will be given a set of instructions about which stars to follow from one island group to the next, which they will then have to commit to memory by making up a story or song, and/or arranging sticks and stones. Signs such as birds, seaweed, phosphorescence and swell patterns point towards land. The waka will need to replenish their water frequently, so they will lose sailors if they miss small islands along their path. The winner will be the first to get to Aotearoa, with penalties for losing crew, and extra points for finding signs that indicate land.
Comes with infographics on; contemporary voyages to rediscover traditional Pacific navigation methods and routes, signs used to find land in traditional Pacific navigation, and the use of swell patterns for navigation.
Recommended size 1.5m x 1.5m
Different age groups
The games and activities can be played at different levels of difficulty for different age groups. Younger age groups could be helped to build the globe. To locate the incidents from Cook's and Tasman’s journeys, the names of places and countries can be written on the cards, as well as the coordinates. To play the board-games younger players can make the journeys with the tiles visible, the routes already mapped out, and without trading. Very young players may simply enjoy placing the correct coloured tiles in each wind area or pushing their ship along a marked route.
Pacific Explorers is still under development. The scope is defined, but there may be minor changes to the content as details are developed.
Pacific Explorers will be sold as a set of digital files including graphics, construction drawings, and game instructions that can be used to fabricate and utilise the components. Its components can be bought individually or as a set.
The cost of materials for construction is likely to be under $500 if made by hand using recycled materials and in-house computer printers, or about $5000 if made by professional fabricators, printers, and laser cutters.
Digital files will be supplied at two different levels: those for hand-making and cutting and computer printing the components being less than files for laser-cutting and professional printing and fabrication. You can choose components according to your interests. A science museum may like to choose 1 & 2 (Globe building & Polynesian navigation), a social history museum may like to choose 3, 3.1, 3.2 & 3.2 to play games about Kupe, Tasman, and Cook, and a Wananga may wish to choose 2, 3, and 3.3 to focus on Polynesian navigation.
Provisional costs for digital files of the components are as follows:
Conditions of Use: Copyright, License and Updates
The copyright and intellectual property for all files and information for Pacific Explorers will remain the property of Intouch Design Ltd. Buyers will be purchasing a licence to make and use one copy for one year. For the following 2 years, license holders must pay an annual renewal fee, at 15% of the initial purchase price. All current license holders will receive updated files, which may be made periodically in response to user feedback.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org