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Botanical Burglary - Stage 4

There has been a theft of a valuable plant specimen at the Botanic Garden and we need your help investigating the crime. Apply your scientific skills to examine evidence and help us find the culprit. You will learn about forensic botany, recent advancement in this field and how the Botanic Gardens used some of these methods to solve one of Australia’s most infamous kidnappings.

Learning Activities

  • Students will use primary and secondary data to participate in forensic analysis of microscopic pollen samples. 
  • They will use a dichotomous key to compare plant samples with living specimens in the Garden displays. 
  • They will also conduct field tests to assess soil composition and structure.


Stage 4 Science


Rathborne Lodge


2 hours


Click here. Minimum charges apply. Discounts apply for full day programs!

More information

Key Content
  • Conduct investigations by completing a range of tests, e.g. microscopy, soil analysis and plant identification. 
  • Identify the structural features of plants in order to collect and analyse data. 
  • Investigates the role science plays in the community, e.g forensic science, field work, plant science. 
  • Use data to create plausible and creative solutions to problems. 
  • Identify the role Botanic Gardens can play in the scientific community.
Syllabus Outcomes


SC4-14LW relates the structure and funtion of living things to their classification, survival and reproduction
SC4-1VA Appreciates the importance of science in their lives and the role of scientific inquiry in increasing understanding of the world around them
SC4-6WS Follows a sequence of instructions to safely undertake a range of investigation types, collaboratively and individually

Plan Your Excursion
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Sustainable Development Goals

Through our education programs we aim to 
•    ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning (SDG 4)
•    demonstrate actions that work towards making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11)
•    inform and empower students to preserve our forests and halt biodiversity loss (SDG 15)

Through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we promote prosperity for the whole community, while protecting our planet for future generations.