Target Group: Grade 3 & 4

Maximum Students: 54 (2 groups of 27)

Program Times: Weekdays 10am – 2pm (or as negotiated)

This program is run at Earth Ed, and has a complementary 1 hour Outreach program which can also be run as a standalone session.

In Beneath Our Feet, students investigate the processes that have helped form the Earth that they now inhabit and discover what rare and precious resources lay beneath their very feet. This program provides excellent support to Primary Connection’s Beneath Our Feet unit and is supported by Earth Ed’s outreach program.

Students are introduced to the idea that there are three rock types (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic), the reason behind this classification, and how these rocks came into existence.  They identify how the minerals in rocks are used to produce the common materials that we use in everyday life.

They also consider the presence of different soil types that they have encountered, and the properties that they contain. Students will test a sample of soil from their home and compare this to other samples in order to ascertain whether it is suitable for growing a sunflower.  They will also perform scientific testing on their soil to measure pH, texture, and water retention.  Students use microscopes to make observations about different soil types.

In a new addition to the program, students will also travel to Mount Buninyong to make observations about the Ballarat landscape and its geological history.  Students will walk to the volcanic crater and develop an understanding of Mount Buninyong’s eruptions.

The program culminates with the students having discovered exactly what is beneath their feet, and how it came to be there.

Key Learning Outcomes:


  • Present prior schema that they already have regarding rocks, fossils, soil and landscapes
  • Consider the implications of a series of data that they have collected in order to reach a hypothesis
  • Demonstrate current scientific methods of investigation when dealing with fossilised remains, rocks and soil
  • Investigate the properties of specific rocks, minerals and soils samples
  • Identify which characteristics help to determine a rock’s type (Igneous, Sedimentary or Metamorphic)

Learning Standards (Australian Curriculum):

Buried in Time demonstrates the learning addressed through Year 4 of the Australian curriculum standards.  In particular, it addresses:

Science Understanding 

Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity:

  • Collecting evidence of change from local landforms, rocks or fossils
  • Investigating the characteristics of soils
  • Considering how different human activities cause erosion of the Earth’s surface

Science as a human endeavour

  • Exploring ways in which scientists gather evidence for their ideas and develop explanations
  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships
  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions

Science inquiry skills

  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate
  • With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge
  • Suggest ways to plan and conduct investigations to find answers to questions