A school in the ACT has been using the Atlas of Living Australia as a teaching tool in their Year 12 Biology class.


Under the guidance of teacher Dr Ann Cleary, Year 12 students at Merici College have been using the ALA for their Biodiversity, Ecology and Interactions unit assessment task for the past three years.

Students use the spatial portal to determine the number of species within a 1km radius of their school and compare it to the number within a 5km radius that takes in part of the nearby Mount Ainslie nature reserve. From there, they construct food webs using the species they find.

The students also look at a local endangered species, the Golden Sun Moth, and suggest ways they could set up a conservation plan for the moth in the school grounds.

Speaking at the Atlas of Living Australia Science Symposium, Dr Cleary said the girls really enjoy relating their schoolwork to what they see in their own neighbourhood, and having seen more of what the ALA can offer students, she plans to use it across other subjects and year levels in the school in the future.

If you are using the ALA in the classroom, we would love to hear about it.

For more information, contact taryn.johnson@csiro.au