Year levels

Year 7, Year 8


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Africa, STEM

Combining Science with Design and Technologies unleashes student innovation. In this program, your students will use their creativity and problem-solving skills to help the Gorilla Doctors with a challenge.

Program description

The Gorilla Doctors provide life-saving medical care to wild gorilla populations in Africa. In this program, Year 7-8 students will use their STEM knowledge and skills to help 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 adaptations and classification of gorillas
  • How the Gorilla Doctors use STEM to help gorillas in the wild
  • STEM skills such as scientific observation and engineering
  • How to apply creative thinking and problem-solving skills to a real-world challenge

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 the problem using STEM to solve a conservation challenge around the work of the Gorilla Doctors.

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.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 7-8 


Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (VCSSU090)

  • Students will explore a real-world example of how the Gorilla Doctors use science to help Gorillas in the wild 

There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (VCSSU091)

  • Students will learn about the adaptations and classification of humans and gorillas
Design and Technologies

Generate, develop and test design ideas, plans and processes using appropriate technical terms and technologies, including graphical representation techniques (VCDSD050) 

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

Consider how problems can be segmented into discrete stages, new knowledge synthesised during problem-solving and criteria used to assess emerging ideas and proposals (VCCCTM042) 

  • Students will seek out problems and synthesise their thinking to develop their own creative 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