How do navigators find their way?
How does a compass find north?
Could you find your position on a chart?
Become a navigator and learn some new skills to put to the test


Suitable for: Y1-8   |   Costs: $2 per student   |   Maximum 4 classes per day

New Zealand Curriculum Alignment
Key Competencies – Thinking; Using language, symbols, and texts; Participating and contributing
Learning Areas – Science: L.2, L.3, L.4, L.5   |   Mathematics and Statistics: L.3, L.4   |   Technology: L.2, L.3, L.4   |   Social Sciences: L.2, L.4, L.5


In this programme, students will consider the history of travelling the sea.  They will consider what it takes to cross oceans into unknown territory.

Students will learn about navigation tools of the past and explore some of the navigation tools used by the Navy today.  They will learn how these tools work in relation to the physical world and earth systems.  In groups, students will try the tools and debate their usefulness in the modern era.
Students will learn one of the navigation processes used by the Navy past and present, using it to discover and plot their location on a chart of the Waitemata.


NZ Curriculum alignment

  • Science:
    • L.2 – Communicating in Science; Investigating in Science; Physical Inquiry and physics concepts
    • L.3 – Communicating in Science; Investigating in Science; Earth systems; Physical Inquiry and physics concepts
    • L.4 – Earth systems; Physical Inquiry and physics concepts
    • L.5 – Earth systems; Using physics
  • Mathematics and Statistics
    • L.3 – Measurement; Position and orientation
    • L.4 – Measurement; Position and orientation
  • Technology:
    • L.2 – Technological products; Technological systems
    • L.3 – Technological products; Characteristics of technology
    • L.4 – Characteristics of technology
  • Social Sciences: Understand How:
    • L.2 – People make choices to meet their needs and wants
    • L.4 – Exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places, and environments
    • L.5 – People move between places and how this has consequences for the people and places

Achievement Objectives

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understandings of:

  • some of the first navigators to come to New Zealand
  • some of the equipment used in navigating a ship today, and in history
  • basic chart reading
  • how to find and plot their location
  • how a compass works
  • how the earth’s magnetic field works and effects navigation instruments
  • usefulness of different technologies in different situations
  • how planets and stars can be used to assist in navigation


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