STEM Design Challenge | Animals at Home

Help solve real zoo problems with our STEM Design Challenge, Animals at Home.

Program description

Zoos Victoria is offering free Virtual Excursions programs. Each excursion comes with a teaching guide, activities and a student webinar. While not a tour of the zoo, you will have an expert educator working remotely to talk directly to you.

Year F-6 and Year 7-10 students will design solutions for animals featured in the Animals at Home live streams. They will use their STEM skills, knowledge and an engineering framework called Design Thinking.

Students will learn:

  • About how the zoo cares for its animals
  • How to research a real STEM problem
  • How to use Design Thinking to combine STEM knowledge and skills 
  • How to brainstorm ideas and choose one to try
  • How to test and refine an idea

Choose your design brief

Choose one STEM Design brief for your class or provide four options for students.

Keeper Liz needs new enrichment ideas for a Little Penguin.

Keeper Georgie needs new enrichment ideas for a Rothchild’s Giraffe.

Keeper Ben needs new enrichment ideas for a lion.

Keeper Nathan needs new enrichment ideas for a Plains Zebra.

Student webinars

STEM Design Challenge includes a free 30-minute student webinar. A Zoo teacher will run a workshop for your students and answer their questions. Students won’t be on camera and will type their questions and ideas.

Webinars run every week from Tuesday 6th October 2020:

  • Penguin – Mondays 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEDT
  • Zebra – Tuesdays 12:45pm - 1:15pm AEDT
  • Giraffe – Wednesdays 1:45pm - 2:15pm AEDT
  • Lion – Thursdays 1:45pm - 2:15pm AEDT

Program resources

In addition to the student webinar, this Virtual Excursion includes the following teaching resources:

Teaching guide – instructions for activities to do before and after your webinar

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Narrated PowerPoint – interactive student activities lead by a Zoo Teacher. Download for hours’ worth of activities to use independently or as a class.

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Student workbook – instructions for students on how to complete each Design Thinking activity

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Zoo habitat maps – a map and measurement of each animal’s zoo habitat

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Teacher FAQs – frequently asked questions about the STEM Design Challenge

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Stages of Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process where a need is identified and a solution is developed. The process helps solve a challenge that needs multiple solutions.

We have provided instructional videos that will walk you through the four stages of the Design Thinking framework.

Teacher professional development

Teach STEM Using Design Thinking is a 1-hour webinar that will help you teach the STEM Design Challenge in your curriculum. Explore each stage of Design Thinking and gain a toolbox of ideas that you can use right away. Professional development certificate provided. To register, visit Teacher Events and PD.

Get more from education at Zoos Victoria with a Teacher Tribe Membership. Includes exclusive online access to resources, PD, activities and more.