Eucalyptus trees are an important feature of Australian life, with over 900 species found in almost every corner of the nation. Eucalypts have adapted to survive both drought and bushfire, and some rely on extreme heat or smoke to release and germinate seeds. They provide shelter to many native animals, and some species are the sole food source for koalas.
The Among the gum trees unit is an ideal way to link science with literacy in the classroom. Through hands-on investigations, students explore the fruit and flowers of eucalypts, how different living things interact with the tree, and plan and conduct an investigation of how eucalyptus oil may inhibit the growth of plants beneath its canopy or microorganisms in its leaves.