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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 9542 1951

Amazing adaptations

Science and Technology – Living World

Students become scientists for the day on a visit to the Royal National Park, exploring the living world. They examine structural features and adaptations of native plants and animals and investigate the physical conditions of at least one environment.

Key syllabus outcomes

A student:

  • plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions ST3-1WS-S
  • examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptation of living things ST3-4LW-S

Skills focus – working scientifically

Planning and conducting investigations

  • identify questions to investigate scientific ideas
  • identify potential risks in planning investigations
  • manage resources safely (ACSIS086, ACSIS103)
  • select appropriate measurement methods, including formal measurements and digital technologies, to record data accurately and honestly (ACSIS087, ACSIS104)

Processing and analysing data

  • construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data
  • compare data with predictions
  • present data as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS218, ACSIS221)

Inquiry questions

  • How do physical conditions affect the survival of living things?
  • How do the structural and behavioural features of living things support survival?


Growth and survival of living things


  • describe how changing physical conditions in the environment affect the growth and survival of living things, for example:
    • Aboriginal Peoples’ use of fire-stick farming
    • temperature of water in aquatic environments

Adaptations of living things


  • describe adaptations as existing structures or behaviours that enable living things to survive in their environment (ACSSU043) SciT
  • describe the structural and/or behavioural features of some native Australian animals and plants and why they are considered to be adaptations, for example: ComT SciT
    • shiny surfaces of leaves on desert plants
    • rearward facing pouch of a burrowing wombat
    • spines on an echidna

Learning Experiences


  • examine relevant preserved animals and discuss their adaptations for survival
  • find and observe animals relevant to the ecosystem visited, e.g., birdwatching, dipnetting, crab searching, finding invertebrates in a leaf litter survey
  • describe the local environment and its physical conditions
  • learn about plant adaptations on a bushwalk
  • complete scratch art illustrating a plant adaptation
  • measure and record physical conditions using scientific equipment

Recommended excursion sites

Please note: there are no toilet facilities at Bola Creek and Wallumarra Track, and toilets are 1km from the field site at Bonnie Vale; please discuss with the EEC if you require a site with better access to facilities.

  • Bonnie Vale (mangroves)
  • Bola Creek (rainforest)
  • Wallumarra Track (a longer one-way walk that includes a cross-section of various ecosystems; 5 hours minimum required)