Biodiversity education projects
A range of professional, community and student education programs for biodiversity conservation. Share your project
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
ClimateWatch is an authentic learning experience that can be incorporated into secondary and tertiary school subjects, school ground explorations, field excursions, camps, or a long-term learning and phenology-monitoring activity. Taking part in citizen science that monitors and records plant and animal behaviour is naturally aligned to the Science stream of the national curriculum. ClimateWatch is also a great way to build student capacity in critical and creative thinking, numeracy and ITC skills.
Create a ClimateWatch ‘group’
Class groups can be created by the Earthwatch team where students are added to the group through account invitations. The results of each group can then be compared against each other, year after year. If a group set-up is requested, the Earthwatch team sends invitations out to the student email addresses before the start of the teaching term. Students will need to accept their invitation and will be prompted to change their password.
Individual users/students can download their sightings in a .csv file to be submitted as part of assessment under the ‘download sightings’. Legacy CW data from 2009 can also be provided to teachers as an educational tool upon request.
Teachers added as ‘group coordinators’ will be able to see which students have recorded sightings under ‘group activity report’. Students can be introduced to the app early in the teaching term and make observations in their own time.
Climate Watch for Educators
Earthwatch Australia's ClimateWatch program has partnered with Cool Australia to build lessons in the areas of mathematics, geography, and science. The lessons focus on phenology, climate change and citizen science and are all linked to the Australian Curriculum and syllabus.
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
The Port Phillip Eco-centre schools and ELC programs allow students to connect to their local environment, especially Port Phillip Bay and Aboriginal Cultures and history. Students will be empowered to take sustainability action within their school, community and at home.
Port Phillip Eco-centre programs and excursions are linked to outcomes from VEYLDF, Victorian Curriculum and ResourceSmart Schools.
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