The following programs are designed to incorporate AusVELS. They provide an effective and integrated approach for teaching across the Domains. Each program is led by a Royal Botanic Gardens secondary teacher and can be adapted to suit individual group needs. Teacher professional development workshops are also available on request.
All programs 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration.
10.15am – 12.00 noon
12.30pm – 2.15pm
Program prices (domestic)
$10.85 per student (includ. GST)
$196.00 per class, for small groups (Minimum Charge)
Teachers / Adults free
Bookings and information
Melbourne bookings and information
T: (03) 9252 2358
Cranbourne bookings and information
T: (03) 5990 2200
- Secondary education program flyer (MS Word - 66 kB)
- VELS Program Guide Cranbourne (MS Word - 108 kB)
The economic or environmental cost of energy needed to power a city, a school or a house, is not usually the primary concern of students. Yet most students understand the need for energy to power their mobile technology, internet, TV and electronic games.
With 2 billion people globally connected to the internet, CO2 emissions generated by the energy consumed by technology is approx. 3.5%pa. That is almost equivalent to CO2 emissions generated by the aviation industry at approx. 4%pa.
The Carbon Futures program developed by WithOneSeed in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, is ‘planting’ seeds to enable Australian students to better understand their energy consumption, their environment, the carbon cycle and their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the Asia Pacific region. Experiences include measuring carbon in trees, measuring personal carbon emissions from technology usage and discovering the many other services a forest has to offer people anywhere on the planet.
Carbon Futures is an engaging, inquiry-based program that also aims to connect schools in Australia with subsistence school communities in Timor Leste, as part of WithOneSeed's open education and reforestation initiatives.
Water and open green space are 2 of the most critical issues in planning future cities. Australia is the driest inhabited continent and we are nearing the limit of supply through established infrastructure. Can changes to the management of stormwater and other waste water help solve some of these problems? Activities include fieldwork assessment of the chemical and physical properties of water, bio-indicators, habitat and other amenity providers.
- Problem based learning units
Art of the Australian Garden
Join us in a visual discovery of the Australian Garden and be inspired to new creative heights by contemporary interpretations of the Australian landscape. Using textural and organic materials as well as photography, discover and depict your own connection to this exciting environment. Activities include ochre mapping of country using traditional materials, photography throughout the garden, and creating a sculptural ground mosaic.
Stewardship of our Land
This program encourages students to connect with nature by exploring Indigenous spirituality, our reliance on the environment for survival, the interconnectedness of all living things and the beauty and diversity in nature to encourage stewardship of the environment. Experiences include creating a ground mosaic, sensory perception, potting up a habitat/bush food plant, a guided meditation and discussion of an environmental story.
Climate change is now accepted as a reality that we have to address globally. Find out what it means for us and what we can do about it. Take home a drought-tolerant carbon-fixing plant, and find out how to creatively manage and store water while reflecting on the bigger picture solutions.
How can we become active conservationists at a local level and be a part of positive global change? This program provides an authentic hands-on learning experience focusing on Victorian environmental issues and providing strategies for action at home. Experiences include a discovery walk, making a treasure box, potting up a native plant and worm farming.
Sustainable Gardening: Water in a Dry Country
Gardening is a productive and creative form of expression. Learn how to be creative while you help conserve our precious biodiversity and water resources. Experiences include group workshopping a landscape design, mulch sculpture construction, potting up a plant and worm farming.
Explore the award-winning contemporary cultural interpretation of the Australian Garden and our remnant native bushland, and discover the iconic Australian plant and animal communities that live there. Experiences include a discovery walk, ponding and making a treasure box.
Fire and the Australian Environment
Observe first hand how fire stimulates Australian plants to set seed and grow. The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne uses fire as a management tool to encourage biodiversity and provide habitat for native mammals. Measure the total fire fuel load, observe the weather conditions and learn about plant adaptations to fire. Experiences include a discovery walk, exploration of plant adaptations, succession after fire and calculating the overall fuel hazard for a set site.
Wetlands Water Quality
Wetlands are fascinating places to explore. They harbour an incredible collection of flora and fauna and yet they are fragile environments. Explore our wetlands by ponding for water fauna and testing the water quality. Experiences include a discovery walk, measuring turbidity, pH, temperature, conductivity, nitrogen levels, dissolved oxygen, orthophosphate levels and identifying aquatic animals and their indicator status.
A Shared Country Indigenous Program
Discover the importance of the environment to the Koolin people and how plants were used for food, fibre, medicine and tools. Experiences include a discovery walk, examining artefacts, ochre art and plant food tasting.
Wilams not Wigwams Indigenous Program
This program is a team building, group-working exercise that teaches co-operative learning skills. It does so in an Australian cultural and bush setting, making use of bush materials collected on- and off-site. Experiences include cultural discussion, a discovery walk and wilam construction.
Bushfoods Indigenous Program
Discover some of the indigenous food plants of the region and Australia generally. Find them growing in the bush and the garden and learn how they are prepared. Experiences include a discovery walk, grinding and tasting wattle seed, Lemon Myrtle tea and other plant leaf products.
Investigating Terrestrial Ecosystems (VCE Biology Unit 2)
Identify plant communities and conduct a transect survey. Use a dichotomous key to classify plants in the wetland or heathland ecosystems. Observe plant adaptations, special relationships between organisms, population dynamics, identify human influences and changes over time.
Fresh Water Ecosystems (VCE Biology Unit 2)
Investigate a wetland environment and identify aquatic animals. Learn how species collected can be used to indicate pollution. Perform a habitat survey and test the water for physical and chemical parameters.
Changing Landscapes (VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies Unit 3 and Unit 4)
In our remnant bushland setting, discover the perceptions and uses of the environment made by traditional indigenous Australians, early settlers and contemporary society.
Future Use of a Resource (VCE Geography Unit 3)
Investigate how Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne is managed as a recreational and scientific resource for future generations. Analyse data to propose a policy regarding the current and future use of the site, including the impact of the Australian Garden.