VCE Environmental Science Unit 3

Year levels



See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)

Develop your students’ field scientist skills to assess the biodiversity of an ecosystem and explore human threats, as well as Zoos Victoria’s role in the conservation of endangered animals.

Program description

VCE Environmental Science Unit 3

In this program, students apply the skills that field scientists use to measure biodiversity within an ecosystem. Students will collect primary data from the field and have access to a secondary data set when they return to school. Students will discuss the human threats impacting a native species through exploring a case study and gain insight into the actions Zoos Victoria take in real life conservation scenarios to protect endangered species. 

Students will learn:

  • How to define the categories of biodiversity
  • About the impact of humans on the biodiversity of native species
  • Real strategies Zoos Victoria uses to manage biodiversity and support conservation using a native species case study
  • How to conduct a practical investigation into the challenges of maintaining biodiversity by quadrat sampling in a grassland ecosystem to determine if it satisfies the requirements for a native species to thrive

Program sequence

Before your visit


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 assess the biodiversity of an ecosystem using a quadrat sampling method to collect primary data. Students’ fieldwork data will be shared online contributing to a secondary data set. This will build an important picture of the challenges of maintaining biodiversity in a grassland ecosystem over time. Students are immersed in a real-world learning experience among wildlife and habitat in the grasslands of the zoo.

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.

After your visit

Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school and enable them to complete their investigation.

Program maps 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.

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) – Environmental Science

Unit 3: How can biodiversity and development be sustained?

Area of Study 1: Is maintaining diversity worth a sustained effort?

  • Students will focus on a local endangered species, learn about the effort it takes to help a species avoid extinction and why Zoos Victoria believes it’s worth the sustained effort to maintain diversity

Plan your excursion 

This program 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.

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