This workshop is full of life. Explore objects that have self-sustaining processes like plants, animals and mirco-organisms. Through engaging hands-on activities learn about the difference between living and non-living things, simple life cycles and the bigger picture. Available in a junior or middle/senior primary format.
Level: Foundation to Level 6.
Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.
Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.
State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD
How to decide whether something is Living or Non-living (living things move, grow, respire, reproduce, excrete waste, respond to stimuli and require food).
All living things (organisms) are made up of cells.
Because there are so many different types (species) of living things, scientists sort them
into groups. This is called classification.
Scientists place living things into groups according to features that they have in common. (Organisms in the same group all have that feature). Big groups can be split into smaller groups, again based on common features (or common differences) between the organisms.
There are two main groups of animals – vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates have a spinal cord (backbone) running the length of the body, invertebrates do not.
The biggest group of invertebrates are the arthropods. All arthropods have a hard exoskeleton.
Yeast is a living thing – it belongs to the Kingdom Fungi. The carbon dioxide produced by the respiration of yeast is used in baking.
Earthworms are invertebrates that are very helpful. Given the right conditions, they can break down food scraps into compost.
Microscopes use light and lenses to produce magnified images.
Students work in pairs to classify various objects as Living or Non-living. Also considered are objects that were once alive.
Students observe the respiration of yeast: the production of carbon dioxide when it is placed in warm water with sugar.
Students use real specimens, magnifying glasses and a chart to classify a selection of arthropods into different classes.
Students explore different types of lenses, and view specimens under different microscopes such as compound and stereo.
Students are shown a range of images under a digital microscope in real-time, with the aim of identifying the object that is producing the image.
90 minute workshops also include these activities:
Students observe live earthworms and examine their features. They use light to produce a response to stimuli by the earthworms.
Students work in small groups to make a temporary worm farm for the class to keep.
Victorian Curriculum Links
Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)
Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (VCSSU043)
Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (VCSSU057)
Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)
Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (VCSIS051)
Safely use appropriate materials, tools, equipment and technologies (VCSIS067)
NSW Curriculum Links
Compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things (ST2-4LW-S)
Examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptation of living things (ST3-4LW-S)
Questions, plans and conducts scientific investigations, collects and summarises data and communicates using scientific representations (ST2-1WS-S)
Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity (ST3-2DP-T)
Australian Curriculum Links
Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)
Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (ACSIS025)
With guidance, plan and conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions, considering the safe use of appropriate materials and equipment (ACSIS065)
Excellent 1 hour where students had an opportunity to have hands-on experience and learn in more depth about light and energy. Presenter was extremely knowledgeable and answered all students’ questions.
Anne De CataMarch 5, 2019
Another great incursion from Mad About Science. We wouldn’t use anybody else for our school science workshops!
February 16, 2018
Sophie and Kartini provided a fun-filled workshop with relevance to the STEM program we were running. They were amazing with the children and kept them engaged.