STEM for Sustainability
Enhance Year 9-10 students’ STEM skills knowledge by helping Melbourne Zoo to 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 9-10 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
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 9-10
Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (VCSSU115)
- Students will use existing science knowledge and understanding to find solutions and create novel inventions that help Melbourne Zoo generate electricity
The description and explanation of the motion of objects involves the interaction of forces and the exchange of energy can be described and predicted using the laws of physics (VCSSU133)
- Students will identify and use the motion of objects to exchange energy from kinetic to electric
Apply design thinking, creativity, innovation and enterprise skills to develop, modify and communicate design ideas of increasing sophistication (VCDSCD061)
- Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their ideas for zero emission electricity generation
Investigate the kind of criteria that can be used to rationally evaluate the quality of ideas and proposals, including the qualities of viability and workability (VCCCTM053)
- Students will use a Design Brief and Assessment Criteria to guide their thinking and 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