STEM for Sustainability | Terms 3 and 4 2020
Increase Year 7-8 students’ STEM skills and knowledge by helping to solve real-world problems at Melbourne Zoo.
This unique program is part of the Term 3-4 2020 STEM Design Challenge.
Melbourne Zoo is continually improving its day-today practices to reduce its impact on the environment. It was the first zoo to become carbon neutral by reducing energy use, changing buildings and investing in forest carbon offset projects.
Melbourne Zoo has a big sustainability STEM challenge for your students to solve in Terms 3-4 2020:
- The Sustainability Manager needs new and creative ways to generate electricity at Melbourne Zoo.
When you visit Melbourne Zoo, 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 an idea to work on. The Teaching Guide will help you use an engineering framework called Design Thinking, which helps teams quickly translate their ideas into prototypes.
- Learn about sustainability at Melbourne Zoo, focusing on electricity
- 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 young Victorians who are solving complex conservation problems
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 3-4 STEM Design Challenge competition. Entries close on Friday 20 November 2020.
|Welcome and introduction to your day (9.40am - 10am)||10 minutes|
|Session with a STEM educator||40 minutes|
|Self-guided Zoo research, Keeper talks, exploration||2-3 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 (VCSSU089)
Students will find solutions and create inventions that help Melbourne Zoo to generate electricity in new ways
Generate, develop and test design ideas, plans and processes using appropriate technical terms and technologies including graphical representation techniques (VCDSCD050)
Students will use Design Thinking to generate, grow and test their ideas for electricity generation
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 synthesise their thinking and 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
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