24 students have been selected to participate in the TLFS program for 2016. Angela Andrews the program leader educated the students about the local flora and fauna that inhabits our area. The students began their learning journey at Long Hollow Reserve where they toured around the grounds with a City Wide representative. They learned about the indigenous, native and introduced flora at the heathland. Students brought this new knowledge back to school where they assessed the flora within the school grounds and labelled it indigenous, native or introduced. Each student chose a plant or tree to investigate. They then created a poster to place around the school educating others about the flora in our school. As a group the TLFS students created a nature trail. The nature trail consists of the plants and trees the students had investigated. They mapped the plants and trees on a school map and created a path between each of them. The trail has a starting point and an end point. The students loved the activity which was rich in maths. The trail will be added to each year. The goal is to identify and classify all the plants within the school grounds and include them in the nature trail. The school community visibly see the information posters around the school and learn about the biodiversity within our grounds.
The next part of the biodiversity learning journey was to investigate the fauna within the school grounds. Student discussed the types of animals that live in and feed off the school. The focus for this part of the journey was to learn about micro-bats and encourage them back to our local area. Students learnt about the biology of a micro-bat, their preferred habitat and learned how to make bat tubes/hotels to fasten to the trees within the school grounds.
Students used this learning to form a micro-bat workshop to present at the 2016 Melbourne Water Kids Teaching Kids Conference. One part of the workshop was delivery of information followed by a quiz where participants attained a bat hotel piece for every question answered correctly. Once the group had earned all pieces they built the bat hotel. The second part of the workshop involved games that emulated aspects of the micro-bat’s life including being hunted, huddling together to keep warm and using ecolocation to navigate the environment. The workshop was well received and students enjoyed their learning journey to discover more about biodiversity.