Close up view of the face of a Leadbeater Possum wrapped in a white blanket. Big eyes and fine facial details can be seen as it looks directly at the camera.

Saving Endangered Species

Year levels

Year 3 & Year 4

Cost

$19 per student

Availability

Monday to Friday Terms 1 and 2 2020

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students

Themes

Endangered Species, STEM

For a limited time only, ignite your students’ love of STEM and help them design new nesting boxes for possums or parrots. This program is part of the STEM Design Challenge 2020 (Terms 1 and 2).

Introducing Healesville Sanctuary's STEM Design Challenge 2020: Saving Endangered Species.

The Leadbeater’s Possum lives in forests close to Melbourne. The entire population of the Swift Parrot flies from Tasmania to Victoria each year.

Innovation is key to the survival of these unique and endangered animals. In this program, your students will help to solve two big STEM design challenges:

  1. Scientists need new nest box designs to help Leadbeater’s Possums thrive in the wild
  2. Scientists need new nest box designs to help Swift Parrots thrive in the wild

When you visit Healesville Sanctuary, a STEM educator will share behind-the-scenes stories and existing nesting box designs. They will also help your students develop their scientific observation skills. Your group will also undertake research around the Sanctuary and start to think of 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.

Students will:

  • Learn how Healesville Sanctuary uses STEM to help endangered animals thrive in the wild
  • Develop STEM skills such as scientific observation and Design Thinking
  • Express their ideas through Project Based Learning
  • Enhance their creative thinking skills

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.

  • Join a group of schools in Victoria who are finding solutions for endangered animals
Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day 15 minutes
Session with a STEM educator  40 minutes
Keeper presentations 1 hour
Sanctuary research 2 hours

Program resources

Learning outcomes

Science

Science knowledge helps people to understand the effects of their actions (VCSSU056)

  • Students will learn how Recovery Team scientists evaluate human and environmental impact on endangered animals

Different living things have different life cycles and depend on each other and the environment to survive (VCSSU058)

  • Students will learn about what environmental conditions help animals thrive in the wild
Design and Technologies

Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD029)

  • Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their ideas for animal conservation
Mathematics

Make models of three-dimensional objects and describe key features (VCMMG142)

  • Back in the classroom, students will demonstrate their solutions through 3D prototypes
Critical and Creative Thinking

Investigate a range of problem-solving strategies, including brainstorming, identifying, comparing and selecting options, and developing and testing hypotheses (VCCCTM020)

  • Students will learn how to use each stage of Design Thinking to develop their own creative solutions – Understand, Ideate, Prototype, Test and Refine

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