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  • 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.

    Rights: Crown 2019

    Connected article: Betty Batham: biologist

    An article in the 2019 level 3 Connected journal Shifting Views, published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Illustrations by Alex Cara.

    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.

    Teacher support material

    Check your school resource area for the article from the 2019 level 3 Connected journal Shifting Views, download it as a Google slide presentation from Tāhūrangi or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    Rights: Crown 2019

    2019 Connected Level 3: Shifting Views

    The cover of the 2019 level 3 Connected journal Shifting Views published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand. This issue includes the articles Three drones, Betty Batham: biologist, Predicting possibilities and The long pause.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from Tāhūrangi (Word and PDF files). It has two learning activities – Different fields of science and Continuing Betty’s legacy – along with resource links.

    Related content

    To be a scientist is a ready-to-use cross-curricular teaching resource. It uses the Connected article Betty Batham: Biologist as the starting point.

    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!

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful links

    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


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 19 March 2020 Referencing Hub articles
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