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Narmbool education activities

Camp orientation
This orientation session is compulsory and briefs visiting students and staff on emergency procedures, facility structure and usage.
Time:
15 minutes

Health & safety induction

A compulsory induction session briefing visiting students and staff on safe operating procedures in and around the various environments present on Narmbool. This includes risk and hazard identification and mitigation and some specific procedural information.
Time:
30 minutes

Narmbool interpretation centre

Narmbool was established as a pastoral property in 1839 and has undergone some significant changes since that time, but its origins are well before that date. The Aboriginal people, the Wadawurrung, used this land for many thousands of years before the Europeans began farming. Visual and written descriptions of this history are interpreted by our education staff.
Time:
30 minutes

Shearing sheds tour

Since 1839, sheep have been an integral part of Narmbool’s day-to-day running, and the shearing sheds are the heartbeat of today’s operations. As a very successful commercial sheep farm, Narmbool relies heavily on this space for critical activities including shearing, crutching, delousing and tagging. Students learn by interacting in the space and occasionally having the opportunity to see some of these activities in action.
Time:
30-60 minutes

Homestead gardens tour

Students explore the beautiful gardens of the historic Narmbool homestead and discover why gardens play such an important role in our homes and societies. They will also learn about a variety of flora types and the natural variations and adaptations displayed by indigenous and introduced species.
Time:
30-60 minutes

Create a critter
Through specific discussion about Narmbool ecosystems, habitats and foodwebs, and using knowledge gained from previous activities undertaken during the camp, students will utilise an assortment of art materials to create their own Narmbool ‘critter’. The critter will demonstrate adaptations which help the fauna and/or flora on Narmbool to survive in this environment. Students can keep their critters which can be used in subsequent learning activities either at Narmbool or back at school.
Time:
30-60 minutes

Narmbool critter foodweb

Designed as a sequential learning activity to reinforce the concepts explored in ‘Create a critter’, class groups combine their critters to create a physical foodweb and discuss the sustainable nature of their creation.
Time:
30 minutes

Narmbool critter hunt
This sequential discovery learning activity enables students to navigate and explore key areas of Narmbool. Utilising learnings and/or creations from the Create a Critter activity along with skills of navigation and teamwork, students complete a set of activities based around finding critters in their different habitats on Narmbool.
Time:
60-90 minutes

The Narmbool challenge

Students orient themselves with the physical layout of the Lodge and learning areas while completing a series of tasks centred around the educational themes of the program.
Time:
60-90 minutes

Plant bingo

Students locate and identify different species of plants in the homestead gardens to complete a Narmbool bingo game.
Time:
45-60 minutes

Scats & sculls, feathers & feet
Prior and introduced knowledge about physical and behavioural adaptations and habitat is used, along with scientific clues, to help identify various native and introduced fauna species found on Narmbool (can be incorporated into Sustainability quest)
Time:
30-60 minutes

Sustainability quest

Students investigate the sustainable features of Narmbool’s buildings and natural environment. Each station is uniquely themed on an aspect of sustainability and provides clues to help complete a picture of environmentally sustainable living practices. Themes include monitoring water use and quality, waste recycling and composting, energy efficiency and building design, and renewable energy. Knowledge gained will assist students in developing and implementing their own sustainable living practices at school and at home.
Time:
90-120 minutes

Water testing

Students evaluate the quality of water at Narmbool using a variety of tools to test salinity, temperature, turbidity, pH levels, health of the habitat and the type of aquatic invertebrates present in the water. In doing so, they will be able to draw conclusions about the biodiversity and sustainability of the waterways and dams on Narmbool and compare this with other water testing sites across the state.
Time:
90-120 minutes

Waterwatch river detectives

Modified Water Testing designed for younger students who work in small groups to take samples from a Narmbool waterway or dam and then use a variety of physical and chemical testing methods to determine water quality.
Time:
60-90 minutes

Aquatic invertebrate sampling

Students work in small groups to collect samples from a Narmbool waterway. Then they use a variety of resources and techniques to identify the aquatic organisms found in the sample and use scientific reasoning to help determine what this means for health of the water body (can be incorporated into Sustainability quest).
Time:
60-90 minutes

Interpretation of archaeological dig at bowers and aboriginal silcrete quarry site

The area around Bowers paddock is rich in the history of both Aboriginal and European cultures, and students will be able to see the excavated ruins of a homestead occupied by European farmers, the Bowers family. They will also experience a site of cultural significance used by the Wadawurrung people to make tools.
Time:
3-4 hours (includes walking time)

Aboriginal painting interpretation

Narmbool Education Staff discuss with students the techniques, representations and interpreted meanings used in a Narmbool Aboriginal painting.
Time:
15-30 minutes

Indigenous games

Students discover in a fun and engaging session how games were used to teach Indigenous children the skills required for their roles and responsibilities within their community.
Time:
60 minutes

Team building games
A variety of simple but challenging activities that effectively engage students to achieve goals by working as a team, building trust and communication within the group and breaking down barriers.
Time:
60 minutes

Tree planting

Narmbool is a dynamic and changing environment that requires constant environmental renewal and regeneration. Since Andrew and Robin Ferry took over in 1980, with the vision to make the property a model of sustainability, their long time Farm Manager Peter Rooney has constantly reshaped the farm and its practices. Tree planting has been an integral part of that process, preventing erosion, controlling salinity issues and contributing to the efficiency and productivity of the land. Students can have ownership of a specific tree planting site that will be recognised and signed for current and future students to maintain and observe.
Time:
2-4 hours

Biodiversity audit
Participation in this activity will give students the skills required to conduct the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Biodiversity Audit upon their return to school. Students will study the biodiversity of an area at Narmbool by looking at aspects of habitat and vegetation such as understorey, organic litter, trees and logs to provide a snapshot of current conditions supporting biodiversity. This activity is designed for schools already participating in the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Program, but is available to all visiting groups.
Time:
2-4 hours

Wildlife monitoring

Designed for small groups, wildlife monitoring gives students the opportunity to investigate tree hollows and nesting boxes to study animal populations. Using pole cameras and iPads, the students will assist staff in keeping records of changing populations.
Time:
45 minutes

Soil testing

This program is suited to higher education studies. Students will conduct a variety of scientific tests including infiltration, pH, temperature, texture, colour, moisture, salinity and structure testing to gain an understanding of the condition of the soil. A variety of sites will be studied to give an idea of the changing soil conditions across the property.
Time:
1-2 hours

External provider activities

Leigh Valley Hawk & owl Sanctuary presentations with Martin Scuffins

Meet the beaks:
$180
This day activity enables students to learn about the threats birds of prey face and how we can help them to survive.

Those outstanding owls:
$200
This program is available during the day or (for full impact) as an evening presentation. Students meet 1-2 owls from the Leigh Valley Hawk and Owl Sanctuary in this special presentation and learn about their habitat, how they hunt and their preferred prey.

Full raptor experience:
$350
In this day activity, students will meet 2-4 birds of prey, ranging in size from a Nankeen Kestrel to a Wedge-tailed Eagle, in our dramatic raptor presentation which focusses on exhibiting their natural behaviour.

Astronomy with the Ballarat Observatory (evening activity only)
Provided by volunteers from the Ballarat Observatory, this session enables students to use telescopes to view the night sky and identify celestial objects. An indoor presentation will take place if the weather is unsuitable for night sky viewing.
Cost:
Up to 20 students $130
21 to 40 students $260
41 to 60 Students $390

Indigenous education and cultural session with indigenous educator Emma Lehane: $200 per hour
In this ‘hands-on’ activity, Emma provides an insight into Indigenous culture using artefacts such as tools and weapons to paint a picture of how Aboriginal people lived sustainably for tens of thousands of years. She explores students’ understandings of contemporary views of Indigenous people and their recent and past history and culture. This activity can also be tailored to meet the specific needs of your students.
Time:
1 hour

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