Close this search box.


Diving into Real World Research

Brett Richards (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Australia is widely recognised as the most fire-prone country globally, with fire
services responding to between 45,000 and 60,000 bushfires each year. These fires
have a significant impact, causing substantial loss of life and property damage.
Understanding the nature of bushfires and their effects is essential for communities
to effectively coexist with these hazardous events.

On Tuesday, March 19th, the Year 11 ATAR Geography class visited the Kings Park
and Botanic Garden Education Centre. Under the guidance of two conservation
biologists, students received a briefing on the background, nature, and causes of
bushfires. Engaging in fieldwork, an integral practical component of the ATAR
Geography course, students utilised various instruments to assess environmental
conditions. This assessment aimed to provide the Botanic Gardens and Parks
Authority with insights into whether the 400-hectare park should close for the day.

Field trips offer opportunities to interact with real-world stakeholders and bring concepts into the classroom. Here is what our students had to say about the

“The geography excursion fostered inclusivity, providing an excellent opportunity for
interaction among classmates while learning about bushfires.” – Tom

“The geography excursion proved to be an enriching experience. Engaging in interactive
experiments and testing enabled us to delve deeply into the causes and impacts of
bushfires, making it a valuable learning opportunity.” – Sonny

“During our geography excursion, I learned how to assess the likelihood of a bushfire
occurring and how to use fire risk management techniques to reduce the likelihood of a
bushfire starting.” – Owen

“The geography excursion was highly interactive, offering engaging activities like testing
the humidity of leaves by igniting them, providing a unique and memorable learning
experience.” – Benjamin

By the end of their studies, geography students develop proficiency in retrieving,
synthesising, and communicating information, as well as utilising data and drawing
from various sources of knowledge.

Upon returning to school, the class initiated an experiment to grow Acacia seeds. By
testing variables such as seeds influenced by fire and others affected by wildlife, they
aim to investigate the impact of bushfires on the natural environment. Students will
monitor their seeds closely over the next few weeks, hoping to germinate their own
Acacia plants.

In ATAR Geography, students participate in two field trips per year. Leaving the
classroom and applying real-world concepts is one of the most effective ways for
students to put lessons into practice. Our next excursion will explore tourism and its
impacts on the environment, the people of Perth, and its economy in the City of

Book a Tour