Educational

GRDCs' Grains Education Resources

Did you know the area that Australian grain farmers crop is the same as 12.2 million MCGs? From this area, about 40 million tonnes of grain are produced each year! 

At the GRDC, we love grain and we love the journey of grain from seed in the ground to food in our stores. That's why we are working to provide you with information on everything related to Australian grains – industry facts and figures, student and teacher resources and careers snapshots.

Feedback or questions? email us at grdc@grdc.com.au

Education Resources for Teachers

The GRDC has invested in the development of a suite of user-friendly grain education resources and initiatives for students, teachers and families.

These resources have been developed with teacher and researcher input and have been designed following a comprehensive survey of more than 340 teachers throughout Australia.

Each curriculum linked resources incorporates a range of lesson plans which explore the latest science, technology, engineering, mathematics, nutrition, research and innovation in the Australian agricultural industry.

You can use these resources as a unit or select components to complement your teaching plan.

Using an investigation and inquiry based approach students will touch, try, taste and even smell the science of the Australian grains industry. It provides an ideal and relevant teaching context to engage students in the food and fibre components of the national curriculum.

We hope you have fun teaching with these resources.

Teaching Resources – Secondary

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The Science of Living Soils

Investigating soil characteristics and health by identifying its macro and micro invertebrate populations.

An activity for secondary science or agricultural students.

About:  In this resource, students are tasked with assessing the health of a range of soils using nematodes and bacterial populations as an indicator of biological health. Students will investigate soil structure and function. They will take soil samples and assess nematode populations. Students will learn how to identify soil micro-invertebrates and other free living organisms, learn how living soil biology can be used to monitor soil health and determine the role of soil in food production. Science investigation skills, particularly those relating to field work, and reporting are strengthened through this unit.

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The Cost of Frost

The cause and effect of frost on growing great grain.

A teaching unit for year 10 and 11 agricultural students.

About: This resource focuses on a major issue faced by Australian cropping farmers. Students gain a physiological understanding of frost and its impacts on cereal crop and plant growth, reproductive development and overall grain quality and learn how technology can be used to monitor and manage frost.

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The Science of Crossing and Crops:

How modern science is helping produce more food in a changing climate.  

A teaching unit for year 11 science students.

About: Students gain an insight into how the ongoing advances in breeding have allowed Australian scientists to deliver better plant varieties to growers. Adopting the practical methods of a plant scientist, this resource engages students in modern plant breeding techniques. Students conduct a DNA extraction and try their hand at a genetic cross. This unit contains activity and practical based exploration of genetics and highlights the influence of scientific understanding.

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The Science of Stems, Stomata and Sustainability:

How modern science is helping produce more food in a changing climate.

A teaching unit for year 11 science students.    

About: In reflecting on the past and present climatic challenges for grain farmers in Australia, students investigate the relationship between weather, plant growth and development, grain production and the internal physiology of plants. Students explore these challenges using analytical, investigative and communication skills. Students will be engaged in plant science through critical thinking activities and investigation based practicals. They will understand how multi-cellular organisms like plants are dependent on each other and the surrounding environment. 


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The Smart Technology Behind Smart Grain: 

How emerging technologies are enhancing the capabilities of Australian grain growers.  

A teaching unit for year 10 and 11 agricultural students

About:  This resource uses an inquiry-based approach to explore current farming technologies. Students employ critical and creative thinking to answer questions and complete tasks. Students explore technologies through insights and activities around UAV/drones, GIS, online support and smart apps. By generating their own app, they employ numeracy and analysis skills to explore on-farm data and information.

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The Importance of Soil for Growing Great Grain: 

Exploring mapping and soil management for healthy farming systems.

A teaching unit for year 9 and 10 geography students.

About: Using exploration of the environment and ICT, this resource engages students in soils, geological data and the importance of soil health and monitoring to Australian crop production. Students use methodologies such as soil profiling and mapping, which are representative of those used within the grains industry. Students will assess past and present soil data and conduct a comparative study to strengthen their understanding of numeracy in farming. Practicals emulate in-field tests for soil, with inquiry and reporting skills utilised.


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Good Grains for Good Gut Health: 

Exploring grains and how fibre content promotes gut health.

A teaching unit for year 9 and 10 home economic and nutrition students  

About: From wholefoods to new products, this resource explores the role of grains as a source of dietary fibre. Using this resource, students will evaluate health and nutritional concepts, food labels and ingredients and the connection of wholefood attributes to consumer health. Student will engage with new and familiar nutritional concepts (such as dietary fibre, proteins) through activities, critical reviews and ICT. Analysis and review is practised in a case study and communication skills explored through activities around community health awareness. 

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Grains, Gluten and Carbohydrates:

Exploring the function of grain based foods.

A teaching unit for year 10 home economics students.

About: Focusing on gluten, this resource encourages students to explore the function and purpose of ingredients and investigate the familiar terminologies (carbohydrates and gluten) associated with food products such as bread and pasta. Students will create and evaluate products using mathematical skills and science inquiry to understand how food can be affected by the quality of grain or their method to cooking. Students will be able to articulate how products evolve and why this understanding is important for developing safe and nutritious food – from the paddock to the plate. This resource includes the use of ICT, short activities, practicals of application and extraction and the use of literacy skills through critical reviews.

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The Science Behind Dough Quality:

Exploring how a rainy day can ruin your dough!

A teaching unit for year 10 home economics students.

About: With a chemistry and earth science focus, students are to explore the influence of chemical and physical changes in grain, from seed to stomach, for success in growing and processing. The resource provides insight and activities which ask students to think about the environmental effects on molecular change. Key words and scientific concepts are introduced with reference to real-world challenges while simple practicals based on quality assurance provide insight into the application of scientific concepts.

Teaching Resources – Careers


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Food Farming and Futures in the Australian Grains Industry. A careers booklet for secondary school students.

About:  This booklet profiles a range of careers and opportunities available in the Australian grains sector.