Taking the Classroom to the Zoo
An opportunity to take learning outside the classroom is one that allows teachers to connect learning to life for their students.
A trip to the Perth Zoo is something we all look forward to, and it was no different for our Year 12 Biology classes this week.
Biology Teacher, Jo Priest said, “The excursion was an opportunity for students to consolidate concepts from across their Year 12 course. They focussed on adaptations of terrestrial organisms that enable them to survive in harsh environments. The girls saw how African animals, like giraffes, regulate their body temperature. The students were also able to compare how they conserve water with Australian desert marsupials like the bilby and desert hopping mouse. The management of captive breeding programs was explored, looking at ways genetic diversity is maintained amongst captive-bred populations like the Western Swamp Tortoise and Dibbler.”
“We were lucky to be able to feed and engage with the giraffes whilst learning about their adaptations and making links with topics we have been studying such as thermoregulation.” Grace Steber
“One exhibit that stood out to me was the Australian Bushwalk. We were able to watch the Tasmanian devils being fed. It was interesting to learn that their current captive breeding program is working towards increasing ‘insurance’ populations for the endangered species, whilst still maintaining their genetic diversity. Overall it was great to get hands-on and visual experience. Chloe Mowday
“I was lucky to be able to get up close and feed the giraffes. This was really valuable as we were able to talk to the expert staff of the zoo and ask questions in regard to our Year 12 syllabus, such as how the dark spots on their necks are used for thermoregulation and how genetic diversity is maintained in captive breeding programs. We also observed other animals such as the Asian elephants and Australian reptiles continuing to examine how organisms are adapted to their different climates and environments for the regulation of temperature and water.” Chloe Henville
“Being able to feed the giraffes and have such a close encounter was a once in a life-time experience which enabled me to solidify my learning in regard to their specific methods of thermoregulation.” Isabella Phillips
“The zoo excursion was a highly valuable experience because it was an engaging and exciting way of applying our Year 12 Biology knowledge. The giraffe feeding experience was not only memorable as we got up close to them, but we were able to relate our studies of thermoregulation and captive breeding to the amazing animal.” Alexia Jurkowski