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The Final Frontier: Captain Cooks Voyages of Exploration


Humanities & Arts

What is this talk/activity about?

In 1768, James Cook set sail from Britain on the first of his voyages of exploration to the Pacific Ocean. Over the next decade, Cook led two further expeditions. As well as filling in the blanks on the map of the Pacific – an ocean that covers almost a third of the earth’s surface area – Cook and his men tested scientific theories, collected information, and speculated on the people and places they encountered.

Cook’s voyages illustrate the value of curiosity. They demonstrate the basic human instinct to travel and to discover. And the information and insights gathered by the expeditions contributed significantly to our knowledge of the Pacific, its islands and its people. Meanwhile, back in Britain, James Cook became the ‘British Columbus’: a powerful and enduring icon of British exploration and empire.

Age/Year Group

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13, ages 16-18 years, A Level study or equivalent)

UK National Curriculum Subject Links


Is this talk available as a pre-recorded video?

Yes! Please contact or complete the request form to access the full video.


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