Digital Program | Sustaining Life in an Ecosystem

Year levels



$180 per class of 30 students


Online workshop: Monday to Wednesday

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 30 students

Students will investigate the adaptations and interactions that help Little Penguins survive within a marine ecosystem.

Program description

VCE Biology Unit 1 2021

Each program includes a 30-minute online workshop with a Zoo Teacher and a teaching guide filled with activities for your scope and sequence. While not a tour of the zoo, you will have direct access to your own expert Zoo Teacher and unique zoo content.

Sustaining Life in an Ecosystem uses in-depth case studies to explore how animals are adapted to their environment, how animals interact with the ecosystem and the success that Zoos Victoria has achieved in the conservation of species.  

Students discover the structural, physiological, and behavioural adaptations of the Little Penguin, the threats it faces to its survival and the interconnections and the role it plays in its ecosystem. Students apply their learning to develop and reflect on conservation strategies.  

The online workshop for this VCE Biology program is essential as it provides a real dataset for scientific investigation.

Students will learn:

  • How structural, behavioural and physiological adaptations aid survival 
  • How the internal environment is regulated through homeostasis and stimulus-response signalling 
  • The strategies used by Zoos Victoria to conserve species 
  • About the interdependencies of species within an ecosystem, including distribution and density 
  • To use science inquiry skills 
  • To develop hypotheses, identify variables, and obtain and analyse quantitative data

Want to come face-to-face with our incredible wildlife and extend your students' learning in their environment? Book in an excursion to one of our three amazing zoos.

Program sequence

Before your online workshop

Use the activities in the Teaching Guide and Workbook (below) to spark students curiosity and prepare them for their online workshop.

During your online workshop

During your Sustaining Life in an Ecosystem online workshop students will practice their practical investigation skills to plan and collect real world data surveying the behaviour of Little Penguins at Melbourne Zoo. This data can be used to develop understanding of the scientific process and this practical investigation is suitable for school assessed coursework. 

After your online workshop

Use activities in the Teaching Guide and Workbook to assist students with extending and reflecting on their learning.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Biology

Unit 1: How do living things stay alive?

Area of Study 2: How do living systems sustain life? 

  • Students will explore the survival of a species through learning about their adaptations, homeostasis, disease and natural history and how this understanding can inform strategies to prevent extinction of a species

Area of Study 3: Practical Investigation 

  • Students will carry out a practical investigation that considers experimental design. This will include collecting and analysing data on Little Penguin behaviour which will assist with identifying behavioural trends 

Online workshop details

Your online workshop will be hosted on Zoom.   

All you need is a computer or device with internet access.

During the exclusive online workshop for your class, you will be able use the camera and microphone functions.  

Students can also communicate with a Melbourne Zoo Teacher by typing in the Chat  box.  

We will send out a link to join the program to the teacher that booked.

Join us ten minutes before your start time. Arriving early will enable us to check any tech issues and start your session on time.  

Book now

Call 1300 966 784 to book an online workshop.   

Credit card payment at time of booking. Cancellation must be made at least 10 business days prior to your booked workshop. If not, a cancellation fee of $180 will be invoiced.