Saving Endangered Species
Ignite Year 3-4 students’ love of STEM through the design of new nesting boxes for possums or parrots.
This unique program is part of the Term 1-2 2020 STEM Design Challenge.
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 challenges:
- Scientists need new nest box designs to help Leadbeater’s Possums thrive in the wild
- Scientists need new nest box designs to help Swift Parrots thrive in the wild
When you visit Healesville Sanctuary, 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 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 Term 1-2 STEM Design Challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 19 June 2020.
|Welcome and introduction to your day||15 minutes|
|Session with a STEM educator||40 minutes|
|Keeper presentations||1 hour|
|Sanctuary research||2 hours|
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
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
Make models of three-dimensional objects and describe key features (VCMMG142)
- Back in the classroom, students will demonstrate their solutions through 3D prototypes
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