November 19, 2020

During NAIDOC week a group of MLT staff, Pt Augusta Secondary School staff and Year 11 students visited the Pt Augusta Arid Lands Botanic Gardens to get their hands dirty!

Two Ways Science means that both Aboriginal and Western methodologies and perspectives are brought together to strengthen our understanding of the world.

Image: Senior students (far left, second from left), Priya (third from left) and Auntie Kae (far Right) on the scavenger hunt. (Photo: Eleanor McCall)

The students went on a scavenger hunt through the garden, accompanied by Adnyamathanha Educator Auntie Kaelene McMillan and MLT Arabana language worker Lakota Milera-Weetra. The students had to find local plants in the garden and also learn the names of the plants in multiple Aboriginal languages! Students knew the names of the plants in their own languages, and could share their answers with the group.

We also spent time discussing how plants are traditionally used and classified in Aboriginal knowledge systems. For example, plants may be used for food, shelter, wood for carving and ceremony.

Image: Lucinda (left) helps a student to look at pollen samples under the microscope. Brightly coloured 3D models of the pollen are in the foreground. (Photo: Eleanor McCall)

Two post-graduate students, Lucinda Duxbury (MLT Intern) and Priya from the Earth Sciences Faculty of the University of Adelaide showed the group 3D models of pollen. Students then collected pollen samples from the plants in the garden and had a look at them under the microscope. The students also learned how to analyse a core sample, a tube-like sample of earth which traces changes in the landscape over thousands of years!

Image: Viewing a core sample which can trace landscape changes over thousands of years. (Photo: Lakota Milera Weetra)

It was a great day and the MLT would like to thank Pt Augusta Secondary School staff, particularly Chris Warren and Auntie Kae for their support.

The resources for this workshop will be made available on the MLT learning portal for educators to use. Please stay tuned!