A female student looking down at a butterfly resting on her shoulder.

Adaptations for Survival

Year levels

VCE

Cost

$20 per student

Availability

Monday to Friday (during school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 5 students (recommended)

Use real-world examples to explore how scientists are helping the conservation of threatened species. Collect data to determine how a species’ adaptations enable it to interact and survive within its ecosystem.

Program description

VCE Biology Unit 2

Adaptations for Survival uses real-world examples to explore animal adaptations and interactions within its ecosystem.

Students will discover the structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations of the Southern Corroboree Frog. They will learn about the threats it faces, including a global fungal infection, and the bioethics that are considered in captive breeding programs.

Students will also use their key science skills to collect and analyse data related to behaviours of butterflies in the Melbourne Zoo Butterfly House. This can be used as part of school-based assessment for VCE Biology Unit 2.

Students will learn:

  • How structural, behavioural and physiological adaptations enhance species survival
  • About the interdependences of species within an ecosystem
  • How to use science inquiry skills in an investigation
  • Strategies used by Zoos Victoria to conserve a species, with an opportunity to explore a bioethical issue

Program sequence

Before your visit

Connect

Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students curiosity and prepare them for their zoo visit. 

During your visit

Connect and Understand

Students will discover Southern Corroboree Frog adaptations for survival and the bioethics considered in captive breeding programs. They will also develop practical investigation skills and collect real-world data about another species.

Your zoo visit will include: Zoo Teacher Workshop (80 minutes) and Keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the zoo.

After your visit

Understand

Use activities in the Teaching Guide to enable students to complete their investigation and analysis.

Act

Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program maps 

Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop time/s. Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Program resources

VCE teaching guides are password protected. You will receive the password via email before your excursion. You can also request the password upon booking.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Biology

Unit 2: How does inheritance impact on diversity?

Area of Study 2: How do inherited adaptations impact on diversity?

  • Students will explore and evaluate how adaptations and interdependencies enhance species survival

Area of Study 3: How do humans use science to explore and communicate contemporary bioethical issues?

  • Students will explore a bioethical issue related to captive breeding programs

Plan your excursion

Adaptations for Survival 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 Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate 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 experience

Request 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