Stone and Bones provides outdoor learning, Aboriginal cultural, gardening, history and many other activities for primary and high school groups. Stone and Bones can also deliver innovative and exciting, hands on STEM and STEAM activities.
Our activities are aligned with the NSW syllabus and target specific outcomes and inquiry questions from Science, Mathematics, History and Aboriginal Studies. In addition, Stone and Bones activities allow teachers to target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Learning Across the Curriculum outcomes at all school stages, including Stage 6.
Activities can be tailored for individual needs and take between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
Each activity is intended for a standard class of 20-30 students, but can be adapted according to needs.
For Indigenous cultural activities Stone and Bones provides an additional Aboriginal educator to further enrich the student experience with cultural knowledge, language, dance and song.
Our rates for these activities are $500 for the first 60 participants. We then charge $6.50 per head for larger groups and additional classes. This includes all materials and resources. These rates are negotiable depending on the scale and nature of specific requests.
Our Aboriginal educator is an additional $350 p/d.
Humans lack fur or the other coverings that protect animals from the weather, and so world wide human beings have developed complex and beautiful solutions to protect themselves through their housing design. In Australia, the shape, size and nature of shelters depended very much on the environmental conditions people experienced. In this activity, suitable for all ages, we will collaborate in small groups to design, troubleshoot and construct a shelter out of locally available materials. We will investigate the designs that people have come up with and reflect on what needs our local environment puts on us. We will then reflect on how we respond to these requirements in the modern day and reflect on whether those choices are sustainable, or whether design that better reflects our local conditions would be preferable.
This activity is better suited to a 2 hour slot, but is appropriate for larger groups.
Fire, where would we be without it? However, how many people can actually make a fire from scratch? In this all ages discovery learning activity, we will demonstrate how to make a fire using friction fire methods, and then leave participants to start one themselves, using the resources provided. We will discuss how fire was originally discovered, various methods, stories and tools for fire lighting from around the world and the importance of fire. Extension activities stemming from this session include the physics of how fire is created, friction, changes of state, food production and preparation and much more.
Ochre is a naturally occuring pigment that was used around the world by Indigenous peoples in art and ceremony. Its value as a commodity made it one of the first mined and traded materials. In this activity, suitable for all ages, we will look at the use and production of ochre, and grind and mix our own paints. Links from this activity include geology and geography, chemistry, economics, ancient history and Aboriginal studies.
Stone Axe Making
In this 45 minute to 1 hour activity, suitable for all ages, participants will make their own working stone axe. Participants will gain an understanding of the sophisticated and complex skills demonstrated by Indigenous peoples in selecting and combining appropriate materials to make tools that were practical and durable. For more advanced groups, the activity can also be used to demonstrate the physics principles of the tool and to quantify the mechanical advantage afforded by this type of lever. Links extend to geology and geography topics, biology and ecology, as well as history and Aboriginal Studies.
Spears and Spear Throwers
The spear is one of the first tools developed by humans, allowing access to fast and dangerous prey. However, the range of the spear was limited by the strength of the thrower's arm. The spear thrower was one of the first complex machines invented by humans, providing a huge degree of assistance to a throw and increasing both range and force. In this activity, participants will make their own thrower and spear and then learn how to cast a light weight, safe, bamboo spear. For more advanced groups we can further develop the activity to discover the physical properties of the machine. This includes caculations of the increase in kinetic energy and mechanical advantage provided by the thrower, as well as exploring the physics of this type of lever.
Fibre and string are probably the most important innovations that humans have made, allowing them to spread out from Africa and colonise other climatic zones. In this activity we will explore this idea using a range of artefacts and natural materials and make our own string from locally available natural fibres. We will also make sandals from a central desert design out of bark and vines, essential when walking on reefs or hot sand. As an extension activity, we can calculate the breaking strength of the string we make, as well as looking at other properties of the materials we use. Links include to botany, biology and ecology, as well as ancient history and Aboriginal studies.