Year levels

Year 7, Year 8


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 scientists 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
  • About the interactions between species within an ecosystem and how human impacts can affect them
  • 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 7-8 


Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)

  • Students will consider how the interactions between species in an ecosystem could affect the functioning of that environment

Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems including identifying impacts and limitations of conclusions and using appropriate scientific language and representations (VCSIS113)

  • Students will give and recieve feedback from ther peers about their design solution
Design and Technologies

Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD050)

  • Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their ideas for different technologies that can be used by Conservation scientists.

Investigate the ways in which designed solutions evolve locally, nationally, regionally and globally through the creativity, innovation and enterprise of individuals and groups (VCDSTS044)

  • Students will investigate different design solutions for wildlife conservation across the world
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 learn how to use each stage of Design Thinking to synthesise their thinking and 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