Year levels

Year 5, Year 6


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Africa, STEM

Boost your Year 5-6 STEM curriculum by focusing on real-life STEM scenarios. Your students will use their creativity to help Gorilla Doctors solve a challenge.

Program description

The Gorilla Doctors provide life-saving medical care to wild gorilla populations in Africa. In this program, Year 5-6 students will learn about the adaptations and habitats of gorillas and the vets who work to help them.

Students will explore real-world design requirements and brainstorm ideas to solve conservation challenges. Back at school, they will work in small teams, to prototype and test an idea, which Werribee Zoo will share with the Gorilla Doctors team. This program uses an engineering framework called Design Thinking and you don't need any special materials.

Students will learn:

  • About the features and adaptations of gorillas
  • How STEM can help solve challenges in conservation
  • STEM skills such as scientific observation and engineering
  • How to apply creative thinking and problem-solving skills to a real-world problem

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students curiosity before their zoo visit. Read through the Design Brief with students to introduce them to the big challenge.

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Students will conduct research and use their scientific observation skills to deepen their understanding of gorillas and develop problem-solving ability in a conservation setting.

Your zoo visit will include: Introduction (for arrivals between 9:45am – 10:00am), Zoo Teacher workshop (30 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.


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

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

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 5-6 


Science Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)

  • Students will learn about how the features and adaptations of gorillas enable them to survive in the wild

The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075)

  • Students will learn why gorillas are threatened in the wild and how the Gorilla Doctors are helping
Design and Technologies

Generate, develop, communicate and document design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD039)

  • Students will use the process of Design Thinking to identify, generate, grow and test their ideas
Critical and Creative Thinking

Investigate how ideas and problems can be disaggregated into smaller elements or ideas, how criteria can be used to identify gaps in existing knowledge, and assess and test ideas and proposals (VCCCTM031) 

  • Students will develop their creative thinking skills through research, brainstorming and prototyping their solutions

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