Two lions up on their wooded climbing platform. One lion is laying down while the other is stand behaind him.

Caring for Animals

Year levels

Year 9 & Year 10

Cost

$19 per student

Availability

Monday to Friday Terms 1 and 2 2020

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students

Themes

Animal Welfare, STEM

For a limited time only, boost your integrated STEM curriculum by solving real-world issues at Melbourne Zoo. This program is part of the STEM Design Challenge 2019 (Terms 3 and 4).

Introducing Melbourne Zoo's STEM Design Challenge 2020: Caring for Animals.

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.

Melbourne Zoo has two big enrichment STEM challenges for your students to solve in Terms 1 and 2:

  1. Keepers need a variety of enrichment ideas to care for giraffes
  2. Keepers need a variety of enrichment ideas to care for lions

When you visit Melbourne Zoo, a STEM educator will share behind-the-scenes stories and existing enrichment ideas for the giraffes and lions. They will also help students develop their scientific observation skills. Your students will also conduct their own Zoo research and start to brainstorm ideas.

Back at school, students will work in teams of up to six people and choose one of the big enrichment challenges to focus on. The Teaching Guide will help you teach using an engineering framework called Design Thinking. Design Thinking helps teams quickly translate their ideas into prototypes and bring their ideas to life.

Students will:

  • Learn how Melbourne Zoo maintains high-quality animal welfare standards
  • Discover how keepers use enrichment to care for animals
  • Apply their STEM skills and understanding through Project Based Learning
  • Use Design Thinking to generate, produce and test their solutions
  • Develop their creative thinking and growth mindset

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 STEM Design challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 19 June 2020. Learn more about prizes, assessment criteria and how to submit entries

Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day (9.40am - 10am) 15 minutes
Session with a STEM educator  40 minutes
Keeper presentations 30 minutes
Zoo research 2 - 3 hours

 

Program resources

Learning outcomes

Science

Scientific knowledge and understanding of the world changes as new evidence becomes available; science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines and practice of science (VCSSU116)

  • Students explore how animal welfare standards have changed over time and influence the work of keepers and other members of the Zoo’s Life Sciences team
Design and Technologies

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 animal enrichment ideas
Critical and Creative Thinking

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

Personal and Social Capability (optional)

Evaluate own and others contribution to group tasks, critiquing roles including leadership and provide useful feedback to peers, evaluate task achievement and make recommendations for improvements in relation to team goals (VCPSCSO050)

  • Back in the classroom, you can build in self and group reflection tasks to help students evaluate their participation in the STEM Design Challenge

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

Book your excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

  • Education program of your choice
  • Preferred excursion date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level