Adaptations and Bioethics in the Grasslands
Explore a real case study about a native species living in the Victorian grasslands and the bioethical issues that impact its survival.
VCE Biology Unit 2
In Adaptations and Bioethics in the Grasslands, students will observe a native species to build their understanding of animal adaptations and survival. They will learn about the strategies Zoos Victoria is using to manage biodiversity and support species conservation, including a case study exploring a bioethical issue.
Students will conduct a practical field investigation to observe a native species and collect data that can be used as part of school-based assessment for VCE Biology Unit 2.
Students will learn:
- The structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations that improve an organism’s survival
- About the interdependencies within an ecosystem, including keystone species
- How Aboriginal cultural practices impact species survival
- The biological advantages of sexual reproduction of a grassland species, including genetic diversity of offspring
Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students’ curiosity before their zoo visit.
Connect and Understand
Students will explore Zoos Victoria case studies that share real-life biological science scenarios. They will also develop their practical investigation and research skills, collecting data that can be used in the classroom.
Your zoo visit will include: Introduction (for arrivals between 9:45am – 10:00am), Zoo Teacher workshop (70 minutes), Safari Bus Tour (40 minutes) and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the zoo.
Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school.
Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts.
Program map and itineraries
Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop/s and safari bus tour time. Each workshop time has its own map and daily itinerary. Paper maps will be provided to you on the day.
VCE teaching guides are password protected. You will receive the password via email before your excursion. You can also request the password upon booking.
Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Biology
Area of Study 2: How do inherited adaptations impact on diversity?
- Students will learn about the biological importance of genetic diversity within a species or population
- Students will investigate structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations that enhance an organism’s survival and enable life to exist in a wide range of environments
- Students will explore survival through interdependencies between species, including impact of changes to keystone species and predators and their ecological roles in structuring and maintaining the distribution, density and size of a population in an ecosystem
- Students will discover the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples’ knowledge and perspectives in understanding adaptations of, and interdependencies between, species in Australian ecosystems
Area of Study 3: How do Humans use science to explore and communicate contemporary bioethical issues?
- Students will analyse and evaluate a bioethical issue
- Students will learn strategies for maintaining biodiversity within a species or population, the impact of introduced species and the effect of changes to specific keystone species on populations and ecosystems
Plan your excursion
Adaptations and Bioethics in the Grasslands is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection.
Bring what students need to record their research e.g. notes, drawings, photographs, videos, voice memos, diagrams.
School groups will enter Werribee Open Range Zoo via the Main Entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More information.
All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. See the COVID-Safe information for schools before your visit.
Book your education experience
Fill out an online form to request a booking for your zoo education experienceRequest booking now
You will need to know the following to book your zoo excursion or online workshop:
- Education program of your choice (if applicable)
- Preferred date
- School name and address
- Contact details of organising teacher
- Number of students/classes and their year level