Darwin and Adventure

Two hundred years after Charles Darwin’s birth, The HMS Beagle Project coordinated a major collaborative celebration of the scientist’s life and work in Paraty, Brazil.

Supported by a British Council Darwin Now Network grant, the HMS Beagle Project set up a live link between NASA and 60 local schoolchildren, to participate in a live question and answer session.


  • to deliver a compelling experience for c.60 school children from three local Paraty schools, relating to Darwin’s legacy, maritime history and evolutionary science
  • to create a live audio connection between c.60 local school children and the International Space Station, so that astronauts could provide live answers to the children’s questions
  • to provide supporting educational resources
  • to stimulate debate between local teachers and the general public to generate further activities in local schools and in Paraty

The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS); Tocorimé Pamatojari; Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Macae, RJ, Brasil; Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela; Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina; Universidad de Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, Chile; Universidad do Valo do Itaja, Santa Caterina, Brasil; Universidad de Concepcion, Chile; The Municipal District of Paraty; The Paraty Convention and Visitors’ Bureau; Duke University Marine Laboratory; The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Key outcomes:

  • Live links to the International Space Station allowed interactive sessions with local schools in Paraty to stimulate interest in young scientists of the future.
  • Michael Barrett, an astronaut on the International Space Station was engaged to answer questions from local school children about the view of the world from space, set within the context of Darwin’s experiences.

Download the Darwin and the Adventure project report.