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Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

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Killalea Rocks

Killalea Rocks

Stage 2 Science and Technology (K-6)

Earth and space


Killalea RegionalPark 

Special notes 

Program involves simple food based experiments. Please advise of any medical needs/allergies of students.

Program overview

This program focuses upon studying the geology of Killalea Regional Park, examining the Park’s volcanic past and subsequent changes to earth’s surface due to weathering and erosion. Students study the characteristics of soils across a variety of sites within the park and search for evidence of natural changes to local landforms and rocks. The impact of human activity on the park is investigated, leading to the study of appropriate techniques to mitigate erosion.

Inquiry and focus questions

How do natural processes and human interaction change the Earth's surface over time?

Learning experiences

Killalea Beach weathering and erosion

Students are guided along the foreshore of Killalea Beach where they begin to identify various forms of weathering and erosion present. Students will learn about how these natural processes occur through natural cycles and human impacts. A discussion is held around how humans can mitigate the levels of erosion using specific examples from the local area. Students are then challenged to create a replica dune system of Killalea Beach that can withstand both wind and rain. Once this is completed, students are given dune reinforcements and using their new knowledge, attempt to mitigate erosion from wind and rain. 

Rock type modelling

In this engaging activity students will initially pose questions about rocks, where they come from, what are rocks made of and whether they can be broken down. Students' knowledge will be questioned before delving into the types of rocks, how they form, where they can be found and what that tells us about the Earth’s environment. Students will then use this new information to classify a selection of rocks into the three main rock types Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic. A series of hands-on experiments involving lollies and ice cream will be conducted to cement students' understanding of the processes needed to form different types of rocks. 

First-hand fossicking investigation

This investigation involves students entering the world of fossils. Students are led through a discussion around fossils, including the types of fossils, how they form and what that can tell us about how the Earth’s environment has changed over time. Students are then led down to the beach where they are tasked with uncovering two wooden fossils that are buried under sand. Students work as a part of a team to locate and recreate the fossils. This interactive team-based activity allows students to work together and enhance their understanding of how the Earth’s environment has changed over time. 

Natural and human-made changes in the landscape

Students literally get their hands dirty in this soil-type identification investigation. Soil samples are collected at two locations and an algorithm is followed to name the soil type based on its ability to clump and form a ribbon or a ball. This activity focuses on how environmental changes impact soil characteristics. 

Key syllabus outcomes

Science and Technology K-6 

S2 - Earth and Space, How the Earth’s surface changes over time

A student:

Investigates regular changes caused by interactions between the Earth and the Sun, and changes to the Earth’s surface ST2-10ES-S