Presenter Abstract & Bio
Solving real-world problems with STEM and design thinking at the Zoo
Frazer Thorpe, Education Officer, and Cheryl Laks, Learning Programs Coordinator, Zoos Victoria
3 big zoos + 5000 animals + 1600 staff and volunteers + 2.4 million visitors + hundreds of conservation programs = a STEM education playground! In this interactive session, Zoos Victoria will help you grow your STEM teaching knowledge and skills. Not only will you watch cute animal videos, you’ll discover how to link your curriculum to real-world problems. You’ll hear about how to walk your students through a Design Thinking framework to ignite their love of learning, expand their skills and deepen their understanding. And you’ll get access to free teaching resources that you can use right away.
Frazer Thorpe is an education officer at Zoos Victoria who is committed to developing meaningful learning experiences that explore and celebrate the wonder of the natural world. He has a background in scientific research and +8 years teaching experience in classrooms, specialist Science and Math centers, and at Zoos Victoria. He works with students of all ages from kinder to tertiary, teachers, and scientists to build partnerships and impactful learning experiences in face to face and digital formats. His focus is on engaging students and teachers to provoke curiosity, deepen understanding of the world, and stimulate active citizenship.
Cheryl Laks is passionate about nature and wildlife. Cheryl brings her background in animal biology and veterinary care combined with 7+ years teaching experience to connect and engage others with the natural world. In her role as Learning Programs Coordinator at Zoos Victoria, Cheryl works with students and teachers from across the state to develop engaging and inspiring programs with the aim of building awareness and respect for the world's most vulnerable animals.