The CRC has developed a range of activities designed to provide students with learning experiences around the topic of plants and plant biosecurity. By portraying plant biosecurity and science in a positive and exciting manner to students from a young age, it is hoped that more students will be encouraged to pursue science as a career and, in the long-term, fill some of the science, engineering and technology skills gaps.
A range of resources are available below for teachers and students.
Plant Pest Investigation with Lily and Sam
To raise awareness of plant biosecurity issues and encourage our youngest students (5-8 years old) to enjoy learning about plants and the importance of protecting them from pests and diseases, we produced a big book, Plant Pest Investigation (large PDF file 22MB). Plant Pest Investigation comes with teachers' notes (available below) supporting activities for the classroom.
Follow Lily and Sam on a scientific investigation to find the reason behind Sam's sick plant. Helped by Dr Wheaten, their investigation takes them through memories of their overseas holiday, a trip to their grandparents' farm and a visit to a real science laboratory.
During their investigation, Lily and Sam learn about the importance of protecting Australia's crops from pests and diseases.
The big book is an educational tool that was launched on Thursday 6 November 2008 by Dr Jim Peacock, Australia's former Chief Scientist.
These activities have been designed to provide students with learning experiences around the topic of plants and plant biosecurity. There are suggested activities for students to complete before and after reading Plant Pest Investigation. Teachers' Notes are available in full or sections can be downloaded individually below.
Background information for teachers.
Plant Pest Investigators
For upper primary students (years 4 to 7 depending on the state/territory) we have developed a science unit, Plant Pest Investigators to engage students by investigating plant pests.
Plant biosecurity is a multi-disciplinary field focused on protecting Australian plants and crops from harmful pests and diseases.
In Plant Pest Investigators, traditional 'Living Things' (or 'Life and Living') content is presented in a plant biosecurity context, allowing students to understand how important science is to their everyday lives as well as enjoy learning about plants, invertebrates and diseases.
You can download Plant Pest Investigators here.
- Activity 1.2 Crops in Australia
- Activity 2.1 Sick Plants
- Article - Fruit flies show surprising sophistication in locating food sources
Plant Pest Investigations
As part of our school education strategy we have developed secondary school classroom activities. These activities have been developed around current areas of research in plant biosecurity and are linked to traditional content taught in secondary school science and agriculture. Each activity comes with background information for teachers, links to science and agriculture curriculum, a lesson outline and worksheets for students. Over the series of activities, students will be exposed to a variety of learning experiences including internet activities, microscope skills, research projects, investigations and case studies.
- A risky business (teacher)
- A risky business (student)
- Khapra beetle fact sheet
- Koch’s postulates (teacher)
- Interview with Dr Gretna Weste, botanist
- Plant pest and disease symptoms (teacher)
- Pests and Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) and Plant Biosecurity Toolbox
- Phosphine resistance in stored grain pests (teachers)
- Understanding Phosphine resistance in insect pests of stored grain (students)
- Phosphine resistance genetics (students)
- Open ended investigations – Mealworm beetles