Year levels



$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students

There’s nothing like studying a species up close to get a grasp of how they’ve adapted to their environment.

Program description

Staying Alive gives students the chance to collect data on adaptations, thermoregulation and ecological relationships to take back to the classroom for their practical investigation. Students can check out the Spirits of the Sky show where they can learn about adaptations and biomimicry. 

Staying Alive gives VCE students an invaluable real-world experience that will help them understand and complete VCE Biology Unit 1 back at school. 

Students will learn: 

  • How animals have adapted to stay alive in their habitat 
  • How to collect qualitative and quantitative data on their chosen species to complete their practical investigation back at school 
  • An understanding of local and global conservation issues

Program sequence

Before your visit


Use the activities in the Teaching Guide (below) to spark students curiosity before their zoo visit .

During your visit

Connect and Understand 

Healesville Sanctuary Teachers will help students practice the skills they need to complete a scientific investigation. Students are then encouraged to conduct independent research at the Sanctuary, collecting first-hand data by observing the species of their choice. 

Your zoo visit will include: Introduction, Healesville Sanctuary Teacher workshopobservation and data collection time, Spirits of the Sky presentation and keeper talks. Check out your Teaching Guide for other ideas of what to do at the zoo. 

After your visit


Use activities in the Teaching Guide to deepen students’ learning back at school. 


Use the Teaching Guide to enable students to master their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. 

Program resources


Staying Alive Teaching Guide *coming soon*

Learning outcomes

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Biology

Unit 1: How do living things stay alive?

Area of Study 2: How do living systems sustain life?

  • Students meet wildlife up close to study adaptations, ecological relationships and human impacts to investigate how living things survive

Area of Study 3: Practical Investigation

  • Students collect qualitative and quantitative data on their chosen species to complete their Practical Investigation back at school

Plan your excursion 

Staying Aliveis an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection. 

Bring what students need to record their research e.g. notes, drawings, photographs, videos, voice memos, diagrams.  

School groups will enter Healesville Sanctuary via the Main Entrance. Organising teachers please check in with our Admissions team upon arrival. More information.

All onsite excursion bookings are subject to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and as such are subject to change in line with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice. We will be in contact with all teachers prior to their booked date if we need to clarify any new requirements. 

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