River Rangers (Year 4)

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River Rangers is a full day program that utilises scenario-based learning aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Science.

River Rangers takes students on a journey to investigate a freshwater environment. Students are presented with a problem facing the Toohey Forest pond prior to their visit, which is the over-abundance of introduced cane toads in the aquatic habitat. On the day of their excursion, students meet a ‘Cane Toad Controller’ who proposes poisoning the water in the pond to reduce the cane toad population. Students take on the role of apprentice scientists to collect and analyse data, then propose alternate management strategies for the site.

Students make observations at the pond and learn about a variety of cane toad management strategies. They then conduct dip netting to collect macroinvertebrates. At the centre students sort and identify the variety of macroinvertebrates and use a large digital microscope view the macroinvertebrates in detail.

In the classroom students create food chains specific to a freshwater environment and look at the impact of introducing an invasive species such as the cane toad. Students then identify and record the life cycle stages of the toad.

At the end of the day the ‘Cane Toad Controller’ returns and students revisit the problem statement and apply their new knowledge to propose alternative strategies to manage the cane toad problem.

The program concludes with a live animal presentation where students get up close and personal with some of the inhabitants of Toohey Forest.

River Rangers has been assessed as medium risk. A Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment is available on request. A student field booklet will be provided upon confirmation of your booking.

Curriculum Intent


  • Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)


  • The importance of environments, including natural vegetation, to animals and people (ACHASSK088)


  • All life forms are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival (OI.2)

Program Resources