The Aurora Institute of Maritime Studies (AIMS) was set up as the educational arm of the Trust. The main objectives of AIMS are to:
• To initialize an education campaign at various levels aimed at highlighting the maritime heritage of the Mediterranean.
• To organize and manage an outreach campaign aimed at protecting the maritime heritage of the Mediterranean.
• To develop courses related to maritime archaeology and other facets of maritime heritage.
• To set up and manage exhibitions related to underwater archaeology and maritime heritage.
• To remain actively involved in the research of the Mediterranean’s maritime heritage.
• To kindle cooperation with similar units and institutes overseas.
• To organize symposia and conferences related to maritime heritage.
• To publish books and other material related to maritime cultural heritage.
To date AIMS has participated in a number of activities supporting the various activities listed above. Below is just a sample of AIMS' actions.
Over the past three years, AIMS has visited secondary (high) schools in Malta where children were given a presentation on underwater cultural heritage. This ongoing activity has enjoyed increased success with thousands of school children participating in the activity.
AIMS also takes the message of the importance of protecting underwater cultural heritage to the various communities which host the Trust on its various missions throughout the Mediterranean. Talks have been delivered in Sicily, Spain, Malta, Italy and Egypt. Other talks have been organized for archaeological/historical societies, Rotary sessions and dive clubs.
Since 2009, school children have been given a workbook entitled ‘Journey under the Sea’. This workbook is available online [Link] and will soon be available in various languages including Arabic and Italian.
AIMS has supported a number of institutions with educational initiatives by delivering lectures in courses organized on the subject of maritime cultural heritage. In 2007, AIMS participated in a two day seminar hosted by the University of Catania as part of its course on ‘New Technologies in the Field Cultural Heritage’. In 2008, AIMS was once again present in Italy, this time as part of a course on underwater archaeology organized by the Soprintendenza del Mare in Palermo. Last year, AIMS took part in the program Scuole-Musei, which is organized by the Soprintendenza del Mare. This program helps school teachers in Sicily to incorporate maritime cultural heritage in the national curriculum. Talks were also delivered to the general public in the countries where AURORA operates. In January of 2010, AIMS took part in the ‘Life at Sea’ festival hosted at the National Maritime Museum of Malta.
AIMS supported an international conference entitled ‘Ships, Saints and Sealore: Maritime Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea’. This conference brought together scholars to discuss the living maritime heritage of the Mediterranean and Red seas. It was held at the Maritime Museum of Malta in April 2009. For further information please visit website: [Link]
AIMS has joined forces with a leading publisher in Malta so as to start a series of maritime publications. There will be a variety of publications aimed the general public as well as at experts in the field.
AIMS organized a course on maritime archaeology in April 2009. Students from all over the Mediterranean, including Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon and Croatia participated in this seminar. Speakers covered a variety of topics such as underwater photography, remote sensing technologies, saturation diving and excavation. In 2010, AIMS will be organizing a similar seminar on the island of Salina. This will be done in conjunction with the Soprintendenza del Mare.