This comic biography tells the story of Betty Batham. Betty was a pioneering female scientist and the founder of the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre in Otago. Betty spent five years creating the marine research centre and public aquarium. At the time, there wasn’t even a road to the location, so Betty transported equipment by canoe.
Betty was born at a time when women’s education focussed on preparation for marriage and motherhood. This biography highlights how Betty, and other women like her, made use of opportunities to take up new roles.
Betty’s biography, and other stories of science and history, offer engaging cross-curricular opportunities for further exploration and learning. It also gives an insight into aspects of the nature of science and the work of scientists.
Check your school library for the article from the 2019 level 3 Connected journal Shifting Views, download it as a Google slide presentation or order it from the Ministry of Education.
The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from TKI (Word and PDF files). It has two learning activities – Different fields of science and Continuing Betty’s legacy – along with resource links.
The article Science over time: Standing on the shoulders of giants curates the Hub’s heritage scientists, including Muriel Bell, Joan Wiffen and Beatrice Hill Tinsley, as well as timelines exploring the development of scientific ideas over time.
Find out what it is like to work as a scientist – and see how far things have changed for women in science! Then use the activity Scientist introduction to create an introduction for a chosen scientist and present it to the class.
Betty and her mother Ethel were citizen scientists. Find out how you can be one too.
The citizen science project Marine Metre Squared is owned and managed by the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago. Get involved and carry on Betty’s legacy!
The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.