Year levels

Year 5 & Year 6


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during the school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students



Put your students’ STEM and business skills to work by developing solutions to real zoo problems. This program is part of the STEM Design Challenge 2019 (Terms 3 and 4).

Introducing Werribee Open Range Zoo's STEM Design Challenge 2019: Running a Zoo.

Running a zoo is incredible, but it's not always easy! There is a lot to balance – the health of animals, the wellbeing of staff, conservation action and the experience for visitors. Managers are always searching for creative ideas that ensure that Werribee Open Range Zoo succeeds in its business and conservation goals.

The STEM Design Challenge is a unique education program that enables Year 5-6 students to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios.

In Terms 3 and 4, Werribee Open Range Zoo has one very pressing problem for your students to solve:

  • Managers need new ideas that help them continue to keep people safe and provide a fun experience for visitors

When you visit Werribee Open Range Zoo, your students will learn about the complexities of Zoo management. An educator will model how to find problems around the Zoo and share behind-the-scenes stories. Students will explore the Zoo to conduct their research and start to think about solutions.

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

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 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 about the needs and wants of different stakeholders of Werribee Open Range Zoo including managers, other staff, animals and visitors

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