Making a Mini Zoo By Matthew

What is a zoo?

An establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public.

A zoo's purpose is to provide entertainment and education to its visitors, Zoos also have breeding and conservation programs to pro-long the existence of animals that may be close to extinct.

VisualIsing a zoo


Our group created questions using blooms taxonomy we used mostly open ended questions to created our questioning web. Most of not all of our questions are specific to our exhibit and design.

This Zebra likes grass

What makes a zoo exceptional?

Our case study

For our case study we looked at Taronga zoo in Sydney Australia, we accessed the toronga zoo animal welfare website to see what they do to make them an exceptional zoo. They have a variety of animal welfare and breeding programs. They always provide their animals with the right diets. They also display their animals with pride, instead of sticking them in cages.

What Makes a zoo unexceptional?

We researched a variety of unexceptional zoos, including the Toledo zoo, The toledo zoo fails to provide their animals with the correct amounts of water and correct diets. This led to them acidentilly killing one of the rarest bears on earth. Unexceptional zoos generally do not care about the well being of the animals rather they only do it for the profit that comes from running a zoo.

We made a Venn diagram to visually display an exceptional and unexceptional zoo.

Our zoo deSign

We designed our zoo to be like an above ground aquarium, we made the path ways like glass tubes,

Not to scale

Trials and tests

Every Tuesday in class we would test some resources we will be able to use in the construction of our miniature zoo exhibits.


We used the dashes in class to practise programming in the Dash's Wonder app and the Tickle App, which can be used to program multiple devices.

Lego Mindstorms

We used the Lego Mindstorms to test our engineering skills in class. We created the base model and programmed it to move fowards and spin, we then replaced the wheels with tracks and gave it arms to pass butter.

Little Bits

We used the little bits and came up with many ideas on how they can be used in our zoo exhibits eg. Use fans and temperature sensors to regulate temperatures. Or use the motors to automatically open doors when the animals are in a certain proximity to the door.

Our proposal

Our exhibit - Our group decided to build an exhibit showcasing the animals of the African Savannah.

Species - our exhibit will have over 20 animals that are native to or can be found in the African Savannah eg. Lions, Giraffes and hippos.

Habitats - the African Savannah is not very complex and is mainly grasslands which means the animals exhibits will not be very hard to maintain or replicate.

Engineering - there are certain rules and regulations that need to be met when making exhibits for certain animals such as tigers who's walls need to be certain heights. Certain materials such as acrylic or steel need to be used in cases of large animals such as rhinos.

Design - the shape of our exhibit is an oval and will be like an above ground aquarium. We made sure that the animals had appropriate amounts of room.

Dream world

Our steam class went to dream world to listen to a talk preksented by the designer of the tiger island zoo exhibit, and one of the tiger handlers at dream world. We learnt that there are certain regulations that need to be met if you are including animals such as tigers, and that some animals do not stay on exhibit all day and have a back of house room for when it's night. This information is vital for the construction of our zoo exhibit.

Term 2 Begins

The construction

In term 2 of STEAM we were challenged with bringing our Zoo designs/Prototypes to life through the use of various materials and methods. There are no zoos that are well known across the world base on the goldcoast and if there were it would create a significant boost in tourism for the goldcoast.


Our group researched multiple different environments that the Animals that featured in our exhibits lived in.

Prior to the construction of our exhibit we asked ourselves many questions on how we would construct our exhibit. We were experimenting with various materials and how we could incorporate them into our zoo.

We also researched what the conditions that the animals lived in in the wild where so they could be copied/incorporated into there exhibits. All of the animals appear in the African Savanna's

Why Certain Animals Where Incorporated

Our zoo exhibit features enclosures for 23 native African animals that are found in the savannas. The majority of the animals are on or where on the list of African endangered species.

One animal featured in our exhibit (The Eastern Lowland Gorilla) has been classified as critically endangered, With and unknown amount left in the wild. Found commonly in the D.R.C the abundance of illegal mines has wiped out the majority of its natural habitats. Multiple other animals featured in our exhibit such as the hippo and African elephant are also on the W.W.O list of endangered species.

Prior To Construction

Prior to the construction of our exhibit we discovered some 'Fatal' flaws in our plan we had created in term 1.

The Building

During the constructing process we used a variety of tools and materials. We had 2 weeks to get the majority of our construction/testing done. We were provided with the base board (60cm * 60cm), The tools and materials.


We drilled foundation holes into the wooden foundation board to create holes to support the match sticks we used to create the fences. To prevent the 'exhibits' from being able to get into each others enclosures and 'interact' with each other we used rope/twine.

We tried to hot glue the rope to the individual matchsticks but ended up being messy and time consuming. We began to wrap the rope around each stick and glued it at the end, It worked much better.


We used Lego bricks to create our exhibits buildings. The buildings can be determined by their individual colours.


To create the foliage and nature elements in our exhibits we used matchsticks topped with green clay and/or green crepe paper. Water was created by using blue clay. The water/ponds were surrounded by small rocks and pebbles.

Team Work


Through out the term we faced multiple challenges as a team. There were multiple occasions where only 1 or 2 team members would be at school working on the project at a time, This meant progress was slow.

Another minor challenge we encountered was that we did not efficiently spread the workload. Often we would have multiple people working on the same thing where we could of had each person working on something individually.


Through out the term I have learnt many things on how to work well and effectively with each other. I learnt to utilize the talents of other group members to increase the work flow of the project instead of having one member doing nothing.


If we were assigned this project a second time multiple things we had done could have been done differently or more efficiently.

The fences: The fences in our exhibit were left to last to be built and were rushed due to the little time we had left.

The materials: The materials we used in our exhibit worked well with our design and if we were to do the project again and we would not substitute them for others.

3D Printed Models: The models we used for our animals in the enclosures were 3D printed, there were some flaws in the designs of our 3D models and if we were to attempt to print them again we would change the dimensions to make them easier to handle, even if the animals were not to proper scale.


Created with images by Pexels - "animal big cat safari" • birder62 - "giraffe animals zoo" • StormmillaGirl - "reptile eskilstuna exotic" • Pexels - "animal big cat safari" • Stevebidmead - "hornbill bird tropical" • Alexas_Fotos - "fuchs wildpark poing animal" • skeeze - "chimpanzee sitting sad" • skeeze - "elephant zoo standing" • winterseitler - "flamingo bird pink flamingo" • skeeze - "tiger tiger cub cat" • ezhikoff - "Line" • paulbr75 - "silver back gorilla animal mammal wildlife nature"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.