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Gum scraper

This is a gum scraper used in the New Zealand whaling industry in about 1840. It is made from a semi-circular iron blade and has wooden handles, one of which is bound with string. It is 25 cm high and 17 cm wide.

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Whale harpoon

This is a harpoon used in the New Zealand whaling industry between 1830 and 1840. It is 229.5 cm long and 7.5 cm wide at its widest part, is made from iron and wood and has a rope attached. It was designed to be thrown from a whaleboat.

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Mincing knife

This is a mincing knife used in the New Zealand whaling industry in the mid-1800s. It is made from iron and has two wooden handles. It is 93 centimetres long and 9 centimetres wide.

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'Gold digging in Australia 1852: bad results'

This is the first of a pair of oval watercolours, measuring 20.2 cm x 26.4 cm, painted by Samuel Thomas Gill (1818-80), a famous colonial artist. It shows two gold miners sitting dejectedly beside their mine, probably on the Victorian gold fields. Behind the men is a windlass, as well as their wheelbarrow, pick and spade. ...

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First the base, then the frame

Come and see Hugo's house getting built. Find out how the concrete foundations are laid. What comes next? Carpenters build a wooden frame. Spot the tools used to build the house. How is each tool used?

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Designers support changing societies

It is the job of designers to support us as society evolves and changes. Watch designers invent tools that could make our lives easier in the future and learn how products such as smartphones have evolved over time to meet changing requirements and technical capabilities.

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Blood, sweat and stones: convict builders

Visit a working farm in Tasmania that uses buildings made by convict workers in the early 1800s. See the stones they carried and the tools they used. Find out how farm work has changed since colonial times. This clip is one in a series of four.

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School robot rescue!

Could you create a robot for a dangerous rescue mission? As part of the Da Vinci Programme at Holy Cross College, students built and programmed their own robot to follow a line through obstacles and rescue a ‘casualty' at a simulated chemical spill.

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What is an abacus?

An abacus is a tool that helps people solve maths problems. Why might some people still use, and encourage the use of, an abacus when there are more contemporary tools like calculators?

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Bee habitat lesson

This lesson plan introduces students to some of Australia's native bee species. Organised in five stages, the lesson plan includes links to videos, scientific and bee-related websites, an information sheet, and downloadable versions of a pictorial slideshow, lesson plan and an assessment rubric. The resource includes suggestions ...

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Patterns for personalising your clothes

If you use paper patterns to make clothes that fit your body size and shape correctly, you get the added advantage of a unique garment that you won't see others wearing. See how to make a garment by downloading patterns from the internet and using them as a template for the fabric you have chosen.

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What is a joggobot?

Robots have traditionally been used to perform tasks that humans don't want to or cannot do. In recent years, however, robot technology has looked at robots as companions. How do you feel about this? Do you think robots could ever replace human or even animal companionship? Why/why not?

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Aboriginal science tools: the morah stone

This is an article about morah stones, incised grinding stones from the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland, and how they were used by the local Aboriginal peoples to process toxic starchy seeds and kernels. Written by Kudjala/Kalkadoon Elder from Queensland Letitia Murgha and intended mainly for teachers, it describes ...