Caring for Animals
Year 7-8 students will deepen their STEM knowledge and extend their skills by designing solutions for giraffes and lions.
This unique program is part of the Term 1-2 2020 STEM Design Challenge.
Melbourne Zoo goes to great lengths to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of its animals. Zoo keepers use enrichment – activities and enclosure designs that enable animals to use their senses, move their bodies and behave in natural ways.
Your students will work to solve one of these big challenges:
- Keepers need a variety of enrichment ideas to care for giraffes
- Keepers need a variety of enrichment ideas to care for lions
When you visit Melbourne Zoo, your students will conduct research and use their scientific observation skills to deepen their understanding. They may also start to brainstorm solution ideas.
Back at school, students will work in teams of up to six people and choose one of the challenges to focus on. The Teaching Guide will help you use an engineering framework called Design Thinking, which helps teams quickly translate their ideas into prototypes.
- Learn about Zoo animals and the work of keepers
- Develop STEM skills such as scientific observation and Design Thinking
- Express their ideas through Project Based Learning
- Enhance their creative thinking skills
- Join a group of young Victorians who are solving complex conservation problems
You don’t need a STEM lab or special materials to teach this fun and innovative challenge. Some teachers use this program to teach a whole-term unit while others use it as a special 2-3 week program. The choice is yours!
After completing their prototypes, students can also enter the Term 1-2 STEM Design Challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 19 June 2020.
|Welcome and introduction to your day (9.40am - 10am)||15 minutes|
|Workshop with a zoo teacher||40 minutes|
|Keeper presentations||30 minutes|
|Zoo research||2 - 3 hours|
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 (VCSSU089)
- Students will learn how animal welfare codes drive the science and technology used by Keepers at the Zoo
There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (VCSSU091)
- Students will practice grouping animals based on their similarities and differences
Generate, develop and test design ideas, plans and processes using appropriate technical terms and technologies including graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD050)
- Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their animal enrichment ideas
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
Perform in a variety of team roles and accept responsibility as a team member and team leader, assessing how well they support other members of the team (VCPSCSO041)
Back in the classroom, students will be working in groups of up to 6 people and will be expected to collaborate during the Design Thinking process
Plan your excursion
Bring what students need to record their research e.g. written notes, drawings, photographs, voice memos, short videos, diagrams. They will also need to dress for the weather.
The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff via the Members Express Lane to arrange payment. More information