Saving Endangered Species
Level up your STEM curriculum with real-life problems about Australian endangered animals. This program is part of the STEM Design Challenge 2019 (Terms 3 and 4).
Introducing Healesville Sanctuary's STEM Design Challenge: Saving Endangered Species.
How do you save a species from extinction? One person (or organisation) can’t easily solve this complex STEM problem. It requires the many individuals working together to achieve success.
The STEM Design Challenge is a unique education program that empowers Year 7-8 students to use their knowledge and skills to solve real-life problems.
In Terms 3 and 4, the team at Healesville Sanctuary have two big challenges to solve:
- Keepers need to monitor the health of the Tasmanian Devil before release into the wild
- Recovery Team scientists need to protect the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby from predators
When you visit Healesville Sanctuary, your students will deepen their understanding of endangered animals. An educator will develop their scientific observation skills and share behind-the-scenes stories. Your students will undertake research in 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.
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.
|Welcome and introduction to your day||10 minutes|
|Session with a STEM educator||40 minutes|
|Keeper presentations||1 hour|
|Sanctuary research||2 hours|
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 Recovery Teams need consider when working with endangered animals
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
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
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
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