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NEW Infectious Disease - Stage 6

Examine a variety of plant specimens to understand the effects of pathogens and insects and the responses of plants to disease. Explore the ways plant diseases spread and how an understanding of these processes allows people to control diseases.


Stage 6 Biology


Rathborne Lodge
The Royal Botanic Garden
Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney


2 hours


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

Excursion key themes:

  • Examination of infected plant material to observe different types of pathogens and symptoms caused 
  • Defence adaptations of plants, the role of quarantine and strategies used to control plant diseases
  • Symptoms, impacts and disease control strategies for plant diseases.

Students will:

  • Discuss ways that disease affects plants and the impact this can have on ecosystems and human society
  • Investigate the ways diseases are identified and controlled by prevention and treatment strategies
  • Observe a variety of plants affected by diseases and record information about the signs and symptoms
  • Investigate the response of a named Australian plant to a pathogen
  • Explore the steps used in the quarantine process and examples of diseases controlled by these methods
  • Research plant diseases considered a threat to ecosystems or agricultural trade.
  • Investigate the plant knowledge of Aboriginal people and their contemporary application to treating diseases

Plant diseases were particularly well done – excellent samples… educator’s knowledge was brilliant.

Teacher, St Johns Park High School

Module 7: Infectious Disease

Inquiry question: How are diseases transmitted?
  • describe a variety of infectious diseases caused by pathogens, including microorganisms, macroorganisms and non-cellular pathogens, and collect primary and secondary-sourced data and information relating to disease transmission (ACSBL097, ACSBL098, ACSBL116, ACSBL117)
  • investigate the work of Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, to explain the causes and transmission of infectious diseases, including:  
    • Koch’s postulates
  • assess the causes and effects of diseases on agricultural production, including but not limited to:  
    • plant diseases 

Inquiry question: How does a plant or animal respond to an infection?

  • investigate the response of a named Australian plant to a named pathogen through practical and/or secondary-sourced investigation, for example:
    • fungal pathogens
    • viral pathogens
  • analyse responses to the presence of pathogens by assessing the physical and chemical changes that occur in the host animals cells and tissues (ACSBL119, ACSBL120, ACSBL121, ACSBL122)

Inquiry question: How can the spread of infectious diseases be controlled?

  • investigate and analyse the wide range of interrelated factors involved in limiting local, regional and global spread of a named infectious disease
  • investigate procedures that can be employed to prevent the spread of disease, including but not limited to: (ACSBL124)    
    • hygiene practices
    • quarantine
    • vaccination, including passive and active immunity (ACSBL100, ACSBL123)
    • public health campaigns
    • use of pesticides
    • genetic engineering
  • investigate and evaluate environmental management and quarantine methods used to control an epidemic or pandemic
  • investigate the contemporary application of Aboriginal protocols in the development of particular medicines and biological materials in Australia and how recognition and protection of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property is important, for example:  bush medicine


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.


We would like to acknowledge the Cadigal people of the Eora Nation within Sydney and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.