Year levels

Year 5, Year 6


See Plan Your Visit


Monday to Friday (during school term)


Adaptations, Animal Features, Animal Welfare, Ecosystems / Habitats, STEM

Students use design thinking to develop solutions to the challenges our scientist face when working with threatened species in the wild.

Program description

Students will learn about the challenges that Wildlife Conservation Scientists face when working with threatened species in Australia. They will begin to explore the types of technologies currently used by scientists to locate, track, and monitor wildlife and start to understand the benefits and limitations of these technologies. Students will use design thinking to develop solutions to the challenges that our Wildlife Conservation Scientists face with the technology currently available for use.

Students will learn:

  • About the challenges that Wildlife Conservation Scientists face when working with threatened species in Australia
  • About the types of technologies used by scientists, their benefits and their limitations
  • About how the adaptations of different species can be understood and used to help inform the types of technologies scientists will use
  • STEM skills such as scientific observation and engineering
  • Creating thinking and problem-solving skills

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 use their scientific observation skills to deepen their understanding of animals and their care 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.

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 time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and suggested daily itinerary. Digital maps will be provided to you on the day.

Learning outcomes

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 learn about the challenges faced by Wildlife Conservation Scientists and some of the technologies they use in the field

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 animals enable them to survive in the wild

Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships (VCSIS088)

  • Students will communicate ideas and gather feedback from peers
Design and Technologies

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 for technology that could be used by conservation scientists 
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 learn how to use each stage of Design Thinking to develop their own creative solutions – Understand, Ideate, Prototype, Test and Refine

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 Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate 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