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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 State Park 

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 State 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

Weathering and erosion

Students work in pairs and using a field guide with photos to identify various forms of weathering and erosion. For example, students will identify abrasion of rocks by sand in the shore and abrasion by sand carried in the wind. They will also identify and describe forms of erosion such as wave cut rock platform and beach erosion caused by waves.     They will then create landscapes by building sand formations on sloping areas of the rock platform and then model erosion by subjecting their landscapes to wind and and water.

Rock type modelling

In this engaging activity students will use pressure to squeeze three chewy lollies into a ‘new’ lolly, demonstrating metamorphic rocks. Igneous rocks are demonstrated by pouring ice magic on to icecream ad watching it change from liquid to solid form. Chocolate crackles are made for students to observe that sedimentary rocks are formed when rock particles settle as sediments and are then cemented under pressure.     Students then examine samples of various rocks and use their knowledge of the processes that form the different types of rocks to identify them.

First hand investigation

This investigation involves students comparing conditions in a rainforest versus a cleared area modified by farming.  Students ensure the testing is fair, make an hypothesis whether the conditions will differ, then they use scientific equipment to measure factors such as soil temperature, pH, wind speed and soil moisture.

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 three locations and an algorithm is followed to name the soil type based on its ability to clump, form a ribbon or a ball.    Students are taken to an area in Killalea that is affected by human caused erosion. They label a diagram of the site whilst discussing ways the erosion can be minimised. 

Key syllabus outcomes

Science and Technology K-6 (2017)

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