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Tasmanian Schools to be Offered Key to Port Arthur

17/06/2009

The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority has developed a partnership with the state’s Education Department that will result in a copy of the innovative high-tech Key to Port Arthur Investigations education tool distributed to every secondary school in Tasmania.

Key to Port Arthur Investigations is a rich multi-media CD-ROM-based education program for middle school and older students of all abilities, with an hour of video images and more than 100 pages of resource material. It encourages students to make links between the history of the Port Arthur Historic Site and contemporary society by reflecting on concepts such as justice, poverty, punishment and social conditions.

Education Minister and Premier David Bartlett praised the partnership, under which Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority‘s Education Officer will be working directly with schools to provide assistance and training in the use and benefits of this rich multimedia education program over the next six months.

“Student projects may take many forms and cover a range of learning areas, from maths, science or history to literature, music, theatre and dance,” said the Premier.

“The CD-ROM based resource contains a wide range of information and research material that is unique to Port Arthur and not available elsewhere. Students can use this material to research their project, along with material from a wide range of other suggested sources.”

The program is supported by a dedicated, purpose built website, which includes resources for research and resources to assist teachers in working with students, and a complete assessment framework.

It can be used as a stand-alone educational resource or in conjunction with visits and other on-site education activities at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, said that Key to Port Arthur Investigations, which has been trialled successfully in a number of Tasmanian schools, provided an important link between Tasmania’s heritage and tourism icon, the Port Arthur Site, and our history and heritage.

“Key to Port Arthur Investigations inspires students to think about the present and the future while exploring the past,” said Ms O’Byrne.

“Providing access to this outstanding resource available to all Tasmanian schools will also, I feel sure, result in enhanced awareness among students of the importance of conserving our heritage.”