Our RV Investigator celebrated its sixth anniversary in 2020! We're celebrating how our research vessel plays a huge role in STEM engagement. 

For its sixth anniversary of commissioning, we’re celebrating how our RV Investigator plays a huge role in STEM engagement. IMAGE: Thomas Moore.

You can agree that science is amazing. So, it makes sense to share it with as many people as possible.

The scientists and team on board our RV Investigator agree. They love sharing their discoveries and are always keen to talk about the work they do. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! The more people they talk to, the more people get interested in a similar career and the more our capability to deliver important science grows, helping us to solve the challenges of our world.

Bringing people on board – in person and virtually – to share the science is all part of STEM engagement.

So in celebration of the ship’s sixth anniversary of commissioning, we’re showing off how our ship team helped promote STEM engagement for this year’s National Science Week.

The best part? You can still be a part of it.

National Science Week

Did you know RV Investigator is Australia’s only dedicated ocean research vessel? It’s used to cover all our marine territory (and then some), which is the third largest on Earth.

Normally, the ship darts around Australian waters to take scientists far and wide. It can go anywhere from the edge of sea ice in Antarctic waters, up to the tropical regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans in a single bound.

Our ship’s big science and capabilities can help inspire students to follow a career in marine science. We also seek to actively encourage this through our on-board (and virtual) programs. For example, we have the Indigenous Time at Sea Scholarship (ITSS). The scholarship offers opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to gain research experience on one of our voyages.

Dr Ben Arthur is an Engagement Coordinator at our Marine National Facility (MNF). He helps to coordinate these outreach and training opportunities. But he also loves communicating marine science, informing everyone of the amazing scientific discoveries that the ship delivers.

In August, we joined Ben and some of the team at the MNF for a virtual tour as they winded and waved through the ship’s rooms, highlighting the capabilities on board. The ship enables pretty much anything and everything marine and atmospheric science. You can’t understand one without the other as these research fields are intertwined.

Our most popular ‘live tour’ showed off our capabilities above the waterline. This means what the ship has to offer for scientists above decks.

The virtual tours presented a great opportunity for the team on board to show a different side and go behind the bulkheads of our research vessel. Hopefully, it also helped inspire a few future budding marine researchers and explorers!

To request a transcript please contact us.

For an accessible version, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVCDtcGMho

Future STEM engagement on RV Investigator

If we had to summarise 2020 in one picture, it would be this:

But, even though the seas may be rough at times, we have plans to go bigger and better with our programs and research, including increasing the STEM engagement we deliver through the ship.

So keep an ear and eye out because we’ll have more big science and big opportunities to get on board with it – in person and virtually – sailing your way in 2021!