STEM for Sustainability
Develop Year 5-6 students’ STEM skills knowledge by helping Melbourne Zoo solve real-world environmental problems.
Melbourne Zoo is continually reducing its impact on the environment. It was the first zoo to become carbon neutral by reducing energy use, changing buildings and investing in forest carbon offset projects. In this program, Year 5-6 students will use their STEM knowledge and skills to help solve a big challenge, "The Sustainability Manager is seeking new and creative ideas for generating electricity at the Zoo".
Your students will conduct research to deepen their understanding. They will work in teams to brainstorm ideas for one animal and choose an idea to prototype and test. This program uses an engineering framework called Design Thinking and you don't need any special materials.
Students will learn:
- Sustainability and electricity at Melbourne Zoo
- How to reduce our environmental impact
- How to use STEM to solve real-world problems
- Creative thinking and problem-solving skills
Can’t make it to one of our zoos? Our Digital Program gives you direct access to your own expert Zoo Teacher and unique zoo content. Location is no longer a barrier.
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.
Connect and Understand
Students will conduct research and use their scientific observation skills to deepen their understanding of sustainability and electricity at Melbourne Zoo.
Your zoo visit will include: Introduction (for arrivals between 9:40am – 10am), Zoo Teacher workshop (30 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 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 time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and suggested daily itinerary. Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.
Victorian Curriculum 5-6
Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives (VCSSU073)
- Students will apply science skills to design environmental solutions
Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity; electric circuits enable this energy to be transferred to another place and then to be transformed into another form of energy (VCSSU081)
- Students will discover and utilise different ways to generate electricity
Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD039)
- Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their ideas and prototypes
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 learn how to use each stage of Design Thinking to develop their own creative solutions
Plan your excursion
STEM for Sustainability 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.
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