Outreach PD at Melbourne Zoo

The CERES Outreach group visited the Melbourne Zoo during the school holidays to learn more about our wonderful partner’s programs for schools.

Melanie Treweek, Learning Experience Manager at Melbourne Zoo, took us on a tour and spoke about the Zoo’s educational strategies around Education for Conservation and ways to Connect, Understand, and Act.

Recent strategies include an Early Years program with a strong focus on play-based learning and multiple outdoor stations that address curricula in a free-inquiry learning outdoor space. Their “Wild Explorers” program engages young children in 20 minute inside and 20 minute outside sessions followed by an extended open session around the Zoo with discoveries to be made in coded-treasure chests.

The “Call of the Wild” program engages students in Upper Primary –Lower Secondary levels with a largely self-guided day at the Zoo with mini-presentations at “hive” spots along their routes.

As well as hearing about these programs, we discussed some of the Education for Conservation campaigns with Tom Colcott, Learning Experience Coordinator. We visited the “Don’t Palm Us Off” display at the Orangutan exhibit, and heard about the successful impact this campaign is having on consumers who directly influence manufacturers through engaging with the “Don’t Palm Us Off” display.

We discussed the take up of the campaign “They’re Calling on You” to educate on materials used in mobile phones and the impact of these on the Gorilla’s habitats, as well as reducing e-waste.

Other campaigns schools will be familiar with are, “Wipe for Wildlife” which helps to educate about consumer Green Purchasing choices for choosing renewable toilet paper materials and in turn protecting forests.

The “Seal the Loop” campaign in 2015 will see 8 schools involved in an action day beach clean-up in November. The plastic and other waste collected on the day will be estimated and collated as a total across the 8 sites.

“Love your Locals” is a relatively new campaign focusing on 20 animals (17 of which are Victorian), which need our support as they are facing extinction. The aim of the campaign is to raise the profile of these 20 species, and the introduction of Zooperman and the Extinction Fighters (below) has helped achieve this. Check out the Priority native threatened species page for more information on each of these species.

Teacher packs for each of the above campaigns can be downloaded from the Teacher Resources webpage on the Zoos Vic website.

Another highlight for the day was our team’s “Connect” experience with an Eclectus Parrot which is in training to comfortably fly over a class of students, providing animal experiences which are wondrous and unique.

It was a fun day out of the office, and it’s always great to hear about what our partners are up to and the exciting programs they have on offer for early years and schools. Although the wet weather kept us indoors for most of the day, we were still able to see a few of the beautiful animals.

Thank you to Mel and Tom for spending some time with us on the day!

For more information about these great campaigns and programs available for schools, visit the Act for Wildlife page and the Education section on the Zoos Vic website.

By CERES Education – Outreach Team|2017-11-06T18:28:14+10:00October 8th, 2015|0 Comments