Mary Watson and the Sea Cucumber Tank

About this resource


Learning resource


4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Chemistry, Physics, History, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture

Image of Mary Watson
Mary Watson and the Sea Cucumber Tank

The four activities featured in this resource are contextualised by the stories told about an iron tank, acquired by Queensland Museum in 1882. This tank tells the stories of the Dingaal Aboriginal people and of European settlers; it also highlights the impacts of colonisation. The activities featured in this resource include:

  • Watson’s Tank: students develop an understanding about the significance of Mary Watson’s tank. They sequence information about people’s lives and events and examine different viewpoints to understand the motives and experiences of individuals and groups.
  • What Floats Your Boat?: Students investigate density and buoyancy to determine how a cast iron tank was able to float with two adults, a baby and a handful of supplies, and how many additional people would have been able to sit in the tank before it began to sink.
  • Rust Away: Students investigate the effect of salt concentration on rusting.
  • Thirst Quencher Design Challenge: students design a solution that will allow for the reliable production of drinking water in a remote location.

Other resources in this series:

  • Future Makers logo
  • QGC logo
  • Queensland Museum Network and Queensland Government logos

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