Year levels

Year 3


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students


Animal Features, Ecosystems / Habitats, Life cycles, STEM, Sustainability

Inspired by STEM-based inquiry learning, Wild Lab allows students to become a scientist for the day: explore nature, examine clues, investigate unique zoo-based resources, piece together puzzles, and solve problems in an interactive play-based setting.

Program description

Using the power of STEM-based inquiry, students will investigate and explore why living things are the way that they are. 

Join us in Melbourne Zoo's Wild Lab and explore the natural world in our exciting outdoor laboratory. Through STEM-based inquiry learning, student scientists will be presented with numerous problem-based activities and will be able to experiment, observe, and test ideas: discovering a way of knowing and doing to create a better world where all living things can thrive. 

Students will learn: 

  • The form and function of various animal and plant species 
  • The purpose and use of different materials used in habitat building 
  • How to sort, match and classify a variety of objects and features through play-based learning 
  • How animals grow and change over time 

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  

Students will be encouraged to gather information through investigations and consider questions. Able to engage all their senses, students can dive in to hands-on, minds-on, self-directed exploration. Guided discussion and rich investigations will help students to develop understandings of where plants and animals live, their form and function, what they need to survive, their various life cycles and how we can care for them and their habitats. 

Your zoo visit will include:  An introduction to the day (for arrivals between 9:40 – 10am), Zoo Teacher Workshop (40 minutes) 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


Wild Lab Teaching Guide *coming soon*

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 3


Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things  

  • Students will be provided with unique zoo-based resources and be provided with the opportunity to manipulate and group authentic biological artefacts and group them according to observable features 

Different living things have different life cycles and depend on each other and the environment to survive  

  • Students will explore animal lifecycles and what they need to survive through educator-led discussions, an animal encounter and unique zoo-based resources 

Safely use appropriate materials, tools, equipment and technologies  

  • Students have the opportunity to use tools for problem-based activities such as magnifying lenses, measuring equipment and natural materials for construction and classification activities 
Critical and Creative Thinking

Investigate a range of problem-solving strategies, including brainstorming, identifying, comparing and selecting options, and developing and testing hypotheses  

  • Students will have the opportunity to investigate, develop and test hypotheses, and make comparisons as they engage in problem-solve activities in the Wild Lab 

Plan your excursion 

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

School groups will enter Melbourne Zoo via the Rail Gate 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