Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 4324 7200


Science Year 7 to 12

Our environmental education centre offers a large variety of programs for high school students to learn and understand their natural environment.

Living World: Stage 4 and 5  

Outcomes: SC4-14LW, SC5-14LW

Program overview

Students apply fieldwork skills to measure and describe the characteristics of an ecosystem, identify foodwebs and observe the adaptations of organisms. The program includes the use of scientific instruments, sampling techniques and classification keys. Possible locations include Bateau Bay, Porters Creek Wetland, Wamberal Lagoon. The Programs available are suited for wetlands, rock platforms or estuaries. 

Earth & Space: Stage 4

Outcomes: SC4-12ES

Program overview

Geology is done on the Central Coast, focusing on the examinations of rock strata and fossil sites. Investigation sites for the program are at Norah Head, Mulbring and Catherine Hill Bay.

Physical World and Alternative Energy: Stage 4

Outcomes: SC4-11PW

Program overview

Invite a Rumbalara's ‘Bright Sparks' energy trailer to your school. It's full of hands-on activities promoting scientific curiosity and the search for alternative energy solutions. Investigate solar panels, wind turbines, solar thermal and sustainable building.

Marine and Aquaculture Technology: Stage 5

Outcomes: 5.2.1, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, 5.5.1

Program overview

Conduct primary research on the environmental conditions that have shaped adaptations and the patterns of life on rock platforms, beaches, estuaries/ coastal lagoons. There is a focus on the sustainable management of these popular places. Can be conducted at many locations depending on your special focus - fish, invertebrates and birds.

Coastal lagoon field work can include a scientific investigation of microplastics in the environment using transects and quadrats. Microplastics can be viewed with a digital microscope and types of plastics will be classified into size and type. Possible sources and solutions to microplastics will be discussed.

Sites that the program may occur at consist of Bateau Bay Rock Platform,Bensville Wetlands and Coastal Lagoons (Wamberal, Terrigal, Avoca and Copacabana).

Depth Study Support: Stage 6 

Program overview

Students who participate in our Stage 6 field work programs could contribute fifteen hours to their to Depth Study investigation. Further pre and post-visit resources and links will be provided to support students to further investigate their area of interest.

The depth of study that will be undertaken:

  • Pre-visit work - 2 Hours

  • Fieldwork with Rumbalara - 4 Hours
  • Processing and analysing data collected infield - 2 hours
  • Communicating findings- 1 hour
  • Further investigation of an area of interest inspired by field work 2- 5 hours

Biology- Module 4 Ecosystems Dynamics & Module 3 Biological Diversity: Stage 6

Outcomes: BIO11/12-1, BIO11/12-2, BIO11/12-3, BIO11/12-4, BIO11/12-5, BIO11-11

Program overview

Students will use an inquiry learning model to investigate the population dynamics of local ecosystems and determine relationships between biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem. The future of ecosystems will also be examined with discussions of management options and the perspective of stakeholders.

Fieldwork activities include:

  • use of transects and quadrats to measure the distribution and abundance of plants and animals.
  • wildlife observations with reference to field guides and identification APPS
  • measurement of physical and chemical abiotic influences
  • observations of predation, competition and symbiotic relationships amongst local ecosystem species.
  • practical observations and discussion of adaptations of plant and animal species
  • discussion of environmental pressures that promote a change in species diversity and abundance.

Sites that the program may occur at consist of Bateau Bay or Copacabana Rock Platform, Terrigal Lagoon, Porters Creek Wetland and Bensville Wetlands.

Cause and Effect – Inferences and Generalisations: Stage 6

Outcomes: INS11/12-1, INS11/12-2, INS11/12-4, INS11-9

Program overview

"The proliferation of plastic products in the last 70 years or so has been extraordinary; quite simply we cannot now live without them. We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year. A Plastic Ocean - Film.

This program will focus on Microplastics and include a practical investigation that will collect a range of qualitative and quantitative primary data on the impact of Micro Plastics on our coastal lagoons.

Sites that the program may occur at consist of one of the four Coastal Lagoons (Choose from Terrigal, Wamberal, Avoca and Copacabana).

Fieldwork activities include:

  • use of a transect and quadrat to collect data
  • classification of Microplastics into size classes and polymer types
  • collecting data on macroplastics
  • conducting water quality testing to identify other sources of pollution
  • discussion of impacts and sources of Microplastics in the local area.

'This project is being delivered by Take 3, Macquarie University and Environmental Education Centres.  The project is supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.' 

Introduced Species: Stage 6 

Outcomes: EES11/12-, EES11/12-2, EES11/12-3, EES11-11

Program overview

An investigation of introduced species and their impact on ecosystems.

Fieldwork activities include:

  • use of quadrat sampling techniques to compare a lantana infested area and a natural rainforest.
  • measurements of abiotic factors to account for impacts of lantana
  • surveys of introduced animal species such as mosquitos, fish and bell birds
  • assessment of the impact of introduced species on the rainforest environment
  • discussion of control and mitigation of introduced species at Strickland Forest
  • water quality testing and discussion of how human activity can influence the availability and quality of water.

The sites that the program will occur is Strickland State Forest.

School Environmental Audits

Program overview

The program consists of measuring and analysing energy, water consumption, waste and monitoring wildlife with a view to sustainability.  This program contributes to the school environmental management strategy.

Download the 2019 science program brochure (PDF 1278KB)  for more information on all the programs on offer.