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Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series

Vict

Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series

Free learning programs for high-ability students supported by the Department of Education and Training

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is a proud partner of the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series which provides opportunities for high-ability Victorian government school students to participate in the innovative Designed by Nature Biomimicry Program.  

Designed by Nature Biomimicry Program

This new STEM-based program engages students in the emerging discipline of biomimicry (design inspired by nature). Students will observe the tried and tested biological strategies and patterns of nature and learn how nature can be used for design inspiration, and problem-solving. The program is a full-day experience split across two sessions, culminating in a mini Biomimicry Design Challenge. 

The program is led by our Biomimicry Specialist Facilitators and accompanied by an online resource Pack. Students will come away having participated in a bio-design challenge and an invaluable perspective for future careers in STEM. 

Program Availability 

  • This program is available online during Term 1, 2021 and both online and face to face from Term 2.  
  • Choose from the set dates (outlined in the box above) or contact us to enquire about availability for a private session.  

Year level 

Year Three to Year Eight

Program Details 

Session 1: Bio-design Introduction (AM)
Students will

  • Learn examples of bio-inspired inventions and come face-to-face with the plants and systems that influenced them 
  • Identify the tried and tested biological strategies of nature through guided nature observation 
  • Come up with their own nature-inspired ideas 

Session 2: Student Design Challenge (PM)
Students will

  • Become biomimics, practicing nature-inspired engineering 
  • Utilise design thinking and STEM skills to apply the practice of biomimicry in a Design Challenge 

Key focuses

  • Distinguishing between ‘learning from’ and ‘learning about’ plants 
  • Exploring the function and form of plants 
  • Engaging in systems thinking 
  • Applying nature-inspired solutions to solve a student challenge  
  • Curriculum Links 
  • Integrated STEM, Science, Mathematics, Technology, Design, and Critical and Creative  

Science


Conservation

Conservation

Victoria's flora and fungi are under increasing threat from climate change, environmental weeds, agriculture, forest clearance and urbanisation. Climate change will especially impact on plants restricted to the coldest environments on mountain summits, which are likely to lose their only suitable habitat. At Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, studies of taxonomy, distribution, population genetics, propagation, translocation and seed banking all contribute to the conservation of Victoria’s and Australia's plants and fungi.

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Protecting our rare and threatened species

Protecting our rare and threatened species

In Victoria, there are nearly 700 native species of threatened plants (among the approximately 3,200 species recorded from the state) along with many others that are rare. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria plays a leading role in programs to conserve these endangered species in order to stabilise or increase populations in their natural habitat. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is particularly involved in the conservation of native terrestrial orchids. Victoria is a 'hotspot' for orchid diversity, with 23 per cent of Australia's orchid species occurring in just 3 per cent of the land area. Most of the native orchid species found in Victoria are terrestrial, and at least a third occur nowhere else. 

Horticulture


Plant Collections

Plant Collections

Botanic gardens throughout the world play a significant role in helping scientists and the public understand the evolution and history of plants, their present day uses as well as what the future may hold for plants in natural environments. Across our two locations at Melbourne and Cranbourne, our experienced horticulture teams manage 45 plant collections as well as a significant area of precious bushland at Cranbourne Gardens. All of our collections feature plant labels which show each plant's scientific name comprised of a genus and species.

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Home gardening

Home gardening

How we garden in botanic gardens, how you garden at home and how we all garden as a community has big impacts on the biodiversity and sustainability of urban Australia. The Australian Garden at Cranbourne is designed to showcase how native plants can make a spectacular and waterwise home garden. There is an Australian plant suitable for virtually any situation in your garden, from tall trees to ground covers, aquatic plants to those growing in low light or in full sun. Australian plants attract native birds and butterflies, and brighten up your garden with wonderful seasonal colour. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria to find inspiration and great tips for using Australian native plants at home.

Visit Cranbourne

Support


Help the Gardens grow

Help the Gardens grow

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has a special place in the hearts and minds of all Victorians. The Gardens has played an important role in the cultural development of Melbourne and can continue to flourish with the help of passionate individuals. There are many ways to get involved with the Gardens and we value any level of support, whether you are a friend or a donor, a member of our Director’s Circle or one of our volunteers. There are also ways to honour those you love by dedicating a tree or a bench within the Garden of your choice. 

Support the Gardens


Honour someone you love

Honour someone you love

Many people share the Gardens with those they love and some visitors choose to mark a significant occasion by dedicating a tree or a bench to someone special.  In the Gardens you’ll notice each bench has a dedication plaque featuring a favourite quote or the recognition of an anniversary, achievement or occasion.  

Learn more