Leadbeaters Possum gripping a branch.

Saving Endangered Species

Year levels

Year 7, Year 8

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

Ignite Year 7-8 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:

  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, 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.

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 Term 1-2 STEM Design Challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 19 June 2020.

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 and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (VCSSU090)

  • Students will learn about what scientists in need when working with endangered animals in the wild

Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)

  • Students will learn about what environmental conditions help animals thrive in the wild and how human activity has impacted on endangered animals
Design and Technologies

Generate, develop, and communicate design ideas and decisions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD050)

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

Consider how problems can be segmented into discrete stages, new knowledge synthesised during problem-solving and criteria used to assess emerging ideas and proposals (VCCCTM042)

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

Personal and Social Capability

Perform in a variety of team roles and accept responsibility as a team member and team leader, assessing how well they support other members of the team (VCPSCSO041)

  • Back in the classroom, students will be working in groups of up to 6 people and will be expected to collaborate during the Design Thinking process

Plan your excursion 

Please 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