During our workshops we encourage pupils to practise key skills, such as weighing evidence and thinking critically, by debating this engaging historical question. Critical thinking is an essential life lesson for personal development as well as a vital historical skill and schools are keen to help prepare pupils to navigate the world of ‘fake news’ and carefully curated social media profiles.
Written sources provide glimpses of what happened on that fateful day on 19th July 1545 and can be interpreted to create wildly different versions of the same story. Would you believe the French who claim to have sunk the Mary Rose by cannon fire? The Spanish who blame a sailing accident? Or the English who suggest the crew were at fault? Voting for their preferred theory always leads to lots of heated discussion between students and teachers! Students must be able to justify their choice and often come up with insightful responses and questions, testing those of us delivering the sessions and challenging us to try and find the answers. The fact there are some things we just don’t know for sure is an important concept for pupils.
Sessions in our laboratory help pupils test ideas of buoyancy and over-loading practically using weights and models made from plastic boxes with ‘gunports’. Pupils of all ages enjoy the opportunity to experiment with water! The ‘tipping ship’ whole class challenge is always popular.