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Survivor programs

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​In groups, students have to challenge the elements and develop real solutions in order to ‘survive’. The 'Survivor' program encompasses an element of positive competitiveness and requires students to work as a team and engage higher order problem solving skills in order to succeed.

Survivor activity one – Water Survivor

Water is life in the in the outback. In this challenge students will learn to find and collect water in the bush. Students will learn about the great artesian water basin and will have to use makeshift materials to harvest food from the artesian water. Although water is often scarce, during floods dry riverbeds can become raging torrents, and students will have to work together to build rafts to survive the summer floods. Which group will be the most resourceful? Which group will die of thirst? The winners of this challenge will not only survive. They will be the first to jump in the water at the end-of-activity

Survivor activity two – Location Survivor

If you have a vehicle which has broken down, you are in the middle of nowhere, and your compass is broken, what do you do? How will you attract help or get yourself back on track? In this challenge the students will learn about low-technology long-range signalling as well as how to determine one's direction of travel without a compass. Students will also learn navigation and orienteering skills to avert a survival situation utilising a compass to navigate an orienteering quiz track. The winners of this challenge will not only survive, but make it back to the comfort of the buildings first.

Survivor activity three – Shelter, Food and Fire Survivor

How will your group survive the outback elements without the necessities we take for granted? Students will look at traditional shelters and how to shelter themselves from the elements bush style. While days in the outback get mighty hot, the desert nights can get mighty cold, so students will plan, and construct their own shelter with limited materials out bush. After that, students will learn to build a fire without the aid of matches or a lighter. Friction fires, fire steels, and focused sun light must all be mastered before you can beat the elements and settle in for some old-style camp cooking. What about other food? Students will have to identify edible plants and learn how to track if they are going to fill their bellies. The winners of this challenge will not only survive, but will be the first to get their tucker that night.

Survivor activity four – Survivor Stories

How will your students tell their outback survivor stories? The challenge is for students to explore the many different ways of making meaning of their experiences while in the bush and recording them to share with others. Students will explore a variety of mediums which can be used to record stories: dance and drama, songs and poetry, paintings, the written word, videos, photographs, and presentations. The winner of this challenge will not only survive, but also have a great record of all they have done while at the Wanpa-rda Matilda Outback Education Centre.


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Last reviewed 17 January 2020
Last updated 17 January 2020