Saving Endangered Species
For a limited time only, Year 9-10 students will skill-up in STEM by designing solutions for endangered animals. This Project Based Learning 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:
- 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, 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.
- 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
- Join a group of schools in Victoria who are finding solutions for endangered animals
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 at
|Welcome and introduction to your day||15 minutes|
|Session with a STEM educator||40 minutes|
|Keeper presentations||1 hour|
|Sanctuary research||2 hours|
The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (VCSSU116)
- Students consider how individual and social behaviours impact the survival of endangered animals
Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (VCSIS140)
- Back in the classroom, students can present their ideas using 3D models, oral presentations, multimodal presentations and contributing to group discussions
Apply design thinking, creativity, innovation and enterprise skills to develop, modify and communicate design ideas of increasing sophistication (VCDSCD061)
- Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their ideas for animal conservation
Investigate the kind of criteria that can be used to rationally evaluate the quality of ideas and proposals, including the qualities of viability and workability (VCCCTM053)
Students will use a Design Brief and Assessment Criteria to guide their thinking and develop their own creative solutions
Evaluate own and others contribution to group tasks, critiquing roles including leadership and provide useful feedback to peers, evaluate task achievement and make recommendations for improvements in relation to team goals (VCPSCSO050)
- Back in the classroom, you can build in self and group reflection tasks to help students evaluate their participation in the STEM Design Challenge
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