Swift Parrot looking left toward the camera perched in a tree branch. Its grass green with red and yellow patches around its beak.

Saving Endangered Species

Year levels

Year 9, Year 10

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

Year 9-10 students will develop their STEM skills and knowledge by designing solutions 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

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
Design and Technologies

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
Critical and Creative Thinking

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

Personal and Social Capability (optional)

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

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