Biodiversity education projects
Ecolinc www.ecolinc.vic.edu.au is an established Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) statewide Science Specialist Centre situated on the site of Bacchus Marsh College. Key stakeholders include Bacchus Marsh College, the University of Ballarat and the Moorabool Shire Council.
Ecolinc develops and delivers innovative curriculum programs using a range of technologies, for students from prep to tertiary level, and teacher professional learning programs. Ecolinc, with support from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), has successfully received a Department of Sustainability (DSE) ‘Vision for Werribee Plains’ grant to develop an online learning program focusing on the biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains. Learning tools being developed over a period of time include:
- iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch application based on identification and mapping of Western Plains grassland plant and animal species
- Online plant and animal survey of Western Plains species observed over time, complete with plant and animal identification guides
- ‘Quadrats Online’, an online plant quadrat program which allows students to virtually map and assess an actual plant quadrat over time
- ‘Managing Grassland Ecosystems’, an interactive learning object enabling students to explore a range of environmental management decisions
- ‘Talk with the experts’ working within the Western Volcanic Plains including both scientific and career information video
- Photo gallery of Werribee Plains flora and fauna
- Interactive quiz
- Virtual excursion to Mt Rothwell Sanctuary featuring a range of Mt Rothwell species.
Contact: Suzan M Clark; 03 5367 0171 Ecolinc web site
The Corangamite education program is a comprehensive freshwater education unit that runs for eight consecutive months during the school year. The program is designed for students at levels three to five of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards but can be adapted for use by any school or group for students of all abilities. It links to science, civics and citizenship, and humanities (geography) subject areas.
Contact: Rebecca George at Corangamite Catchment Management Authority: 5224 9410
Students explore the magnificent bushland and pastures that make Narmbool a popular choice for school camps with a focus on environmental science. A highly creative program blends science and the Arts with a big measure of fun. Students discover life’s diversity in the bush and then make their own unique responses to their Narmbool experience. The overall aim of the program is to equip students with the skills to articulate a view about the importance of sustainability and protecting diversity.
By visiting and examining some biodiversity hot spots across the property, students learn about healthy habitats, how all things are connected in ecosystems, and the impact of human decisions in maintaining a healthy environmental balance.
Narmbool Environmental Discovery programs are designed by Sovereign Hill’s Education Officers, who are qualified teachers, to cater for middle years students. Students learn or enhance a variety of skills, including bushwalking, orienteering, navigation, animal and plant identification, tracking and water quality testing
- Narmbool Environmental Discovery Programs Contact; Scott Walker, Education Officer Sovereign Hill Post Office, Ballarat, Vic 3350, (03) 53 292 339
Alive Outside sessions walk, cycle and snorkel their way around the beaches, foreshore and reserves within the City of Port Phillip. Help protect our local wildlife by making nest boxes, weeding and growing and planting native plants.
The Alive Outside sessions are available to all 2 – 25 year olds who live, work and play in the City of Port Phillip. The Alive Outside program provides organised sessions (where you register and turn up) or sessions specifically for a group (schools, youth groups, guides or scouts).
Engage your students to connect with ecosystems and native wildlife of the volcanic Western Plains of Victoria.
Parks Victoria is offering a curriculum based education program at Serendip Sanctuary which enables students to interact with wetland and grassy woodland habitats and up close to native wildlife.
A trained and qualified education officer can deliver free curriculum based activities that are adapted to meet the specific AusVELS standards or VCE outcomes. Students are inspired to become citizen scientists and can take part in hands-on science activities including aquatic invertebrate studies and fauna surveys.
If you would like to discuss how you can include a trip to Serendip Sanctuary into your teaching program please call Vanessa Wiggenraad (Education Officer) on 0431 455 922 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Birdlife Australia offers free professional development workshops and resources for teachers regarding beach nesting birds.
Beach Nesting Birds education includs the Beach Nesting Birds education kit - ‘Bringing the Coast to the Classroom', the Wing Thing Magazine and the Beach-nesting Birds Education Program.
Beach Nesting Birds education for teachers & kids- Birdlife Australia.
Contact: Dr. Meghan Cullen, Education and Conservation Officer, Beach-nesting Birds, 03 93470757
Other related education sites
The Woodleigh School in Langwarrin South opened a Wildlife Reserve in 2007 and named it honour of Brian Henderson, Deputy Principal for the first 34 years of the school and a committed conservationist, who specialised in Banksia’s.
The work of the Reserve is supported by the student environment group, Woodleigh School Field Gnats, and a community based group, the Friends of the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve. The Reserve is used extensively within the schools curriculum and co-curricula programs by all three campuses – two primary schools and the senior campus. We also have visits from other local schools and many students in neighbouring schools and in local scout groups join us on our conservation volunteer visits to Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, Tiverton at Dundonnell and the Dunkeld Pastoral Company and at working bees within the Reserve.
The Reserve is a little over 4ha in size with a 2.4m T-topped electrified predator proof fence divided into two sections. The western half has a large permanent dam and dense heathland vegetation. The eastern half is an open grassy woodland with riparian vegetation along a tributary of Watson’s Creek that flows through the school.
The Wildlife Reserve currently has Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies and Emus free ranging within the reserve. There are 5 Eastern Quoll, 1 Tiger Quoll and 2 male Squirrel Gliders in enclosures. The Eastern Quolls are part of a mainland breeding population managed across 6 reserves in three states (Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT) with connection to reserves in Tasmania.
Contact: Gary Simpson, Director of the Brian Henderson Wildlife Reserve, Woodleigh School, 03 5971 6100
See also: Threatened species projects