The Australian National Maritime Museum has partnered with Winmalee High School in the first program of its kind.
Twenty-four students will be involved in learning and teaching about the museum's maritime collections, exhibitions, research and archaeology.
"The aim of this program is to engage our students in a broad range of scientific fields, develop strong science communication skills, and provide real opportunities for our students to be both learners and leaders in the sciences," said co-ordinating teacher Kevin Joseph.
"The ability to draw upon the cultural and scientific resources of a major cultural institution like the Maritime Museum will allow our students to take their learning beyond the classroom."
In stage one of the program students spent two days at the Maritime Museum touring current exhibits, and getting an inside look at the methodology of maritime archaeology and heritage value of shipwrecks by examining the roles maritime archaeologists, conservators and curators.
After participating in educator-led tours of the HMAS Vampire, HMAS Onslow and the tall ship James Craig, students had the opportunity to pilot underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in the harbour, as they investigated the roles of ROVs in a range of scientific and industrial research.
The maritime mentors now head back to the classroom to develop and deliver a science engagement program for local primary aged students that encourages the exploration of maritime themes as well as introducing students to the possibilities of science in high school and beyond.
The student created and led-program will not only draw on the skills and experiences developed during their visit to Darling Harbour, but will give students access to a range of the maritime museum's resources, artifacts and technology.
"Programs such as this are key to our positive education philosophy at Winmalee High," said school principal Katrina Middlebrook.
"The work with the maritime museum will open a range of career opportunities for this talented group of students. As mentors they will be able to give meaning and purpose to learning science and promote positive engagement in learning as the next generation of students transition to high school."