Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series


There are very limited spaces remaining for Term 4. Bookings will open soon for 2023, please sign up to our eNews on our homepage for more details

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.

If you're a Victorian Government School Teacher, apply today!


Upcoming Programs in 2022

Term 2
  • April 28th (Primary – Online)
  • May 4th (Primary – In-person – Cranbourne)
  • May 10th (Primary – In-person – Melbourne)
  • May 24th (Primary/secondary – In-person – BALLARAT BOTANICAL GARDENS)*
  • May 26th (Secondary – In-person – Cranbourne)
  • May 31st (Secondary – Online)
  • June 7th (Secondary – In-person – Melbourne)
  • June 21st (Primary/Secondary – In-person – GISBORNE BOTANIC GARDENS)*

*VCES Regional are in-person programs at Regional Botanic Gardens for regional students.

Term 3
  • July 20th (Primary – Online)
  • July 26th (Primary – In-person – Melbourne)
  • August 3rd (Secondary – Online)
  • August 9th (Primary/Secondary – In-person – BENDIGO BOTANIC GARDENS)*
  • August 18th (Primary – In-person – Cranbourne)
  • August 22nd (Secondary – In-person – Melbourne)
  • September 1st (Secondary – In-person – Cranbourne)
  • September 6th (Primary/Secondary – In-person – SALE BOTANIC GARDENS)*

*VCES Regional are in-person programs at Regional Botanic Gardens for regional students.

Term 4
  • October 12th (Primary – Online)
  • October 18th (Secondary – In-person – Melbourne)
  • November 7th (Primary – In-person – Melbourne) (LIMITED SPOTS REMAINING)
  • November 10th (Secondary – In-person – Cranbourne) (BOOKED OUT)

Designed by Nature Biomimicry Program

This new STEM-based program engages students in the emerging discipline of biomimicry (design inspired by nature). Government school 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 either online or in-person at our Gardens.
  • Choose from the set dates outlined 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

What is Biomimicry?

Explore more about biomimicry 

Learn More