Still learning 40 years on | The Mary Rose
Still learning 40 years on
Learning | 10 Oct, 2022 | The Learning Team
The 40th anniversary of the raising of the Mary Rose this October provides an ideal opportunity to use the modern story of the Mary Rose to inspire learners of all ages.

For young and old, a shipwreck full of treasures raised from the deep captures the imagination, providing a chance to be creative – perhaps with a story or poem or piece of artwork. You could even learn the new song about the diving and excavation of the ship created by Portsmouth Music Hub ‘Heroes of the Mary Rose’

There are huge opportunities to bring science, technology, engineering and maths to life. The physics of diving can be recreated in a classroom or at home. Why not try the cartesian diver experiment for yourself?

The problem-solving required by underwater excavation and the meticulous engineering of the famous yellow cradle used to raise the ship could be linked to easy structural engineering activities, using household materials. If you have a go, we’d love to see your ideas! 

In history, the chance to examine newspaper reports from October 1982 and hear oral history recordings allows learners to use a variety of historical sources. If you are lucky, you may even hear first hand from one of the many volunteer divers.

Some members of the Mary Rose Information Group dived in the wreck and give talks around the country.

The individual stories of those who took part in the finding, excavation and raising are incredible. The key players, Alexander McKee and Margaret Rule, showed great drive and ambition in first finding and then raising the ship for the benefit of the nation. For schools and groups interested in young people’s mental health, the story can give concrete examples of the abstract concept of resilience. Alexander and Margaret’s actions say powerfully ‘follow your dream,’ ’don’t give up when things are hard,’ ‘find those who will support you and work together to help each other succeed.’ For adult groups visiting the museum, these stories can be heard in our ‘Lost and Found’ talk.

In the story of the Mary Rose since her raising in 1982 there is also huge potential for learning – the creation of the current award-winning museum, running a heritage business and the continuing exciting advances in conservation science provide people of ages from students to adult learners and professionals with a unique case study.