Year levels

Year 5 & Year 6


$19 per student


Monday to Friday Terms 1 and 2 2020



For a limited time only, running a Zoo will take your Year 5-6 curriculum to new heights by focusing on real-life STEM and economic scenarios. It is also part of STEM Design Challenge 2020 (Terms 1 and 2)

Introducing Werribee Open Range Zoo's STEM Design Challenge 2020: Running a Zoo.

When you walk through the gates of Werribee Open Range Zoo, every dollar you spend raises money for animal conservation. The Zoo spends this money on research, breeding programs, habitat protection and other animal projects.

In this program, you and your students will help Werribee Zoo solve this big STEM challenge:

  • The Zoo Shop Manager needs a new product to raise money for endangered African animals

When you visit Werribee Zoo, a STEM educator will share behind-the-scenes stories about African animal conservation. Your students will develop their scientific observation skills and their understanding of sustainable design. They 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. The Teaching Guide will help you teach using an engineering framework called Design Thinking, which will help students quickly bring their ideas to life.

Students will:

  • Learn how a not-for-profit organisation raises funds for animals in the wild
  • Explore sustainable design
  • Apply their 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 are welcome to enter the STEM Design challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 19 June 2020. Learn more about prizes, assessment criteria and how to submit entries.

Running a Zoo is an integrated and Project Based Learning program. It will activate your students’ understanding of Design & Technologies, Mathematics and Business & Economics.

After completing their prototypes, students can also enter the STEM Design challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 15 November 2019.

Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day (arrivals between 9.50am – 10.05am) 10 minutes
Workshop with Werribee Open Range Zoo teacher 30 minutes
Safari bus tour 40 minutes
Keeper presentations 30 minutes
Zoo research  1-2 hours


Program resources

Learning outcomes

Business and Economics

Identify types of resources (natural, human, capital) and explore the ways societies use them in order to satisfy the needs and wants of present and future generations (VCEBR003)

  • Students will learn real-world examples of how Werribee Open Range Zoo funds animal conservation

Identify the reasons businesses exist and investigate the different ways they produce and distribute goods and services (VCEBB006)

  • Students will become familiar with the services that Werribee Open Range Zoo provides the community and the environment

Make decisions, identify appropriate actions by considering the advantages and disadvantages, and form conclusions concerning an economics or business issue or event (VCEBE010)

  • Students will use a Design Thinking process to weigh up decisions and create solutions for Werribee Open Range Zoo
Design and Technologies

Generate, develop, communicate and document design ideas and processes for audiences using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD039)

  • Students will use Design Thinking to identify, generate, grow and test their ideas
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 develop their creative thinking skills through the development of their own solutions

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