An ocean themed zoo By a student with absolutely no prior zoology knowledge; Hiro Kim

ProJect outline

Our project is to devise, design and document our journey in constructing a zoo. The tasks purpose is to extend our knowledge and strategies for those relating to creating a zoo and it's requirements for both customers and animals alike. We hope to achieve successfully captivating exhibits by incorporating unique amenities and attractions in which audiences will be thoroughly entertained.

Animals and Humans interacting at a zoo

(My) Defintion of a zoo

A zoo is an establishment consisting of a variety of animals for education, conservation and entertainment purposes

ViSualising zoos

Many thoughts and interpretations may come to mind when hearing the term "zoo". Some may imagine habitats with trapped animals, some may think of the conservation of animal races, some may even fantasise joyous moments of animal to human interaction! It is undeniably a vague topic to discuss retaining numerous results. Below are some examples of what may images may first come to mind.

What may first come to mind when the term "zoo" is heard



Lego Masterminds Robot

Today we prototyped and eventually created our blueprinted device. We chose to follow the instructions to create multi-purpose functional lego robot. We found many advantages and disadvantages to our cooperation and communication in our team. As there was only one "invention" to construct, usually 1 person was excluded or isolated from the team which damaged our overall "team spirit". We however were able to finally implement our practical skills in this lesson and I thought of this as a measurement/test of how we will cooperate in practical lessons. In light of all of the above, many positive skills and characteristics of our team were discovered yet we still have much room for improvement, hopefully before the end of the assessment we will be able to correct such mistakes.

Case studies

The differences and similarities Of award winning Zoo exhibits and "unnaccetable" exhibits.

The most recent Tasmanian devil exhibit at the Devils@Cradle sanctuary is their most impressive, both from an animal and visitor perspective, it is also their largest at 3000sqm.

The facility supports students involved in Save the Tasmanian Devil Program research projects. Increased housing opportunities have assisted with a growing meta-population and limited housing capacity, this enclosure can comfortably house up to 10 animals, in fact more if divided into 2.

It is the size of the exhibit and these naturally occurring features which provide exciting animal welfare benefits which focus not just on maintaining wild behaviour but also ensuring a range of natural enrichment opportunities exist. This support of wild behaviours is vital in pre-conditioning devils for the release phase of the Tasmanian Devil Program.

This is an exceptional exhibit!

The image, which seems almost like something out of a sad fable, perfectly captures the desolation and deprivation of zoos that cater to human entertainment.

Peter Marlow snapped the image at Russia's Kaliningrad Zoo in 2001. Sadly, nearly 15 years later, bears still appear to populate enclosures like this. As a more recent video shows, zoo bears stand on the edge of a platform and beg for the apples amused visitors throw to them.

This is an unacceptable exhibit..

Venn Diagram of Exceptional and Unacceptable Zoos
SWOT Analysis of both exceptional and unacceptable zoos

Through the creation of the Venn diagram and the SWOT analysis, we can implement positive and neccesary traits of the exceptional zoo and eliminate and/or avoid the mistakes the unacceptable zoos have made. To put it simply, we shall (attempt to) add all positive and vital characteristics of a zoo by analysing the SWOT (strengths and opportunities,) and the Venn diagram (exceptional zoo category). Simultaneously, we shall discard and prevent the negative traits of a zoo by analysing the SWOT (weaknesses and threats,) and the Venn diagram (unacceptable zoo category).

Dream world Excursion!!

Attempted "Globe Jump"
What information i have gained (during the excursion) relative to our exhibits

During this (AWESOME) excursion, a very informative and helpful talk was conducted, afterwards a tour of the animal enclosures were presented. During the talk I had learnt;

  1. The most difficult/challenging part of constructing the new exhibit was the stadium
  2. Dreamworld stores 12 tigers currently
  3. Only 6 are presented simultaneously at maximum
  4. Safety precautions were made such as the reinforced glass and the specific metal used so the tigers could not escape
  5. Experienced veterinary staff had resolved many life-threatening situations (tigers fight eachother)
  6. A special grass was needed as it was required to grow quickly due to time management
  7. Dreamworld owns 2 breeding programs, one for the tigers and another for most othe animals
  8. Tigers were walked regularly for excercise and enjoyment
  9. Handcrafted "logs" were used to assist the tigers to jump (for the tiger show)
  10. Many of the tigers were raised from a young age
The Tiger Island Exhibit

During the tour, I had learnt;

  1. Many safety precautions were made, area was calculated so it was impossible for the animal to escape
  2. Animal needed to be removed during the cleaning process
  3. Animals could take months to be comfortable around others
  4. (Relating to the breeding program,) Partners were in danger if they were not compatible, could eventually kill eachother
  5. Animals are closely observed daily
Veterinary Staff Handling the Tigers

Overall, the talk and tours were extremely beneficial and helpful on how we can create our exhibits. Many questions were answered throroughly and a huge amount of knowledge was gained in result to this educational excursion. Many concerns were clarified and many ideas were created in relation to the tiger island exhibit. Generally speaking, these events were constructive toward the designing and creation of our exhibit.

IDeAtion log

Problem solving

Undeniably, multiple problems were encountered during designing, planning and even brainstorming processes! The challenge we faced however, was overcoming these obstructions and obstacles to achieve a goal. For instance, many constructive arguments and debates were apparent in our group in what truly was the best revolution. To solve such problems, we each represented our ideas via diagrams, drawings, speech, etc and ultimately, we mutually decided which idea was most suitable and beneficial. I personally believe this was a fair and effective strategy in discerning our good ideas, to our best ideas. We were able to freely discuss our interpretations and perspectives on certain topics and aspects on our exhibit therefore, evidently selecting our best ideas.

Idea geNerAtion

Idea generation was a truly crucial process we accomplished proving to be extremely beneficial in our current design. Many strategies were used to develop multiple ideas however, brainstorming seemed most effective and efficient when judging through quality and quantity. Through the use of brainstorming we were able to produce many suggestions towards what we could add to our exhibit, accumulating an adequate number of ideas.

A simple representation of brainstorming
Refining thoughts and ideas

Refining our ideas and thoughts relates hugely to questioning as we would not be able to improve or find flaws in our works, if we didn't challenge them ourselves we would be left with an uncompleted, unsatisfactory product. Progressively we questioned, adapted, improved and finalised our ideas to create a refined and polished idea/thought. This was our strategy and work ethics.

Our zoo exhibit proposal

A brief description

Our ocean themed exhibit contains many animals, varying from the common star fish to a colossal stingray that swims magnificently overhead. Our exhibit contains a diversity of entertainment and educational factors which prove beneficial short-term and long-term.


(As stated before,) my team and I have decided to portray a variety of aquatic animals alongside marine life. The sheer intriguingness and rarity of such species equally serves conservational and entertainment value. Seldom experiences are aquatinted to such foreign animals, for this exact reason, we hope to educate people from all ages on such an exotic species and captivate audiences from the enjoyable displays and enclosures we have.


Our habitats are fully equipped with neccesary comfort, stimulation and physical health elements to create an aethesticslly pleasing enclosure whilst catering to the animals needs. We hope to decorate the enclosures with natural plants and other decor to simaulate their natural environment and rejuvenate the animal itself. By accomplishing this, we stimulate the species thus keeping the animals mentally healthy. We also provide trained veterinary staff to interact and treat our animals, by providing correct dietary, prescriptions (if neccesary) and comfort.

The engineering of an eXhibit

Each and every exhibit has a required space to contain an animal within. We have researched thoroughly, the measurements of each particular animal we wish to include in our enclosures. By doing so we have rightfully calculated the space neccesary for each animal and even gone beyond just the bare minimum, we have ensured a satisfactory amount of space to not only appeal to audiences but moreso to delight our animals themselves.

Our design

We plan to use an acrylic water-tight substance to construct the walls of the enclosures with. As we are planning to custom-make our walls, we can provide the space neccesary for each animal to ensure comfortableness and spaciousness. We shall use the typical glass due to its cheap and reliable properties and will only be implemented in the viewing areas. We plan to make the general vicinity have smooth like surfaces to create a clean and pleasing vibe toward our exhibit and hopefully, will radiate and influence a sense of tranquility.

EdUcation and entertainment

We hope to provide many activities and events that will serve to educate and entertain customers effectively. Some of these activities/events include: tours, dolphin show, physical interactions with particular animals, underwater tunnel walk, etc.


Many complimentary statements can be said however admittedly, many negative and unfavourable actions did occur. Firstly, as a team I believe we cooperated quite rationally, logically and mutually. These components certainly were assistive in us creating our design and generating ideas. The flaw of our operating system lies in our self-displince. Honestly, i personally believe we spent many oppurtunistic hours distracted or seperated, this prevented us from cooperating and synergising to create a fantastic result. During the lessons when we were assigned to continue working on our spark pages was when I felt most distant to my peers and team members. My resolution was that we work together during the school periods and finish our spark pages indivually (at home). This resolution (for better or for worst) was unfulfilled thus leading to the disorganisation of our roles and what was neccesary to be completed. Ultimately, overall we worked together relatively well and were able to complete our individual and team-based tasks.

During this practical lesson we were assigned the little bits and to create an operating machine that served a purpose in our exhibits. Our team had attempted to create a model of a self-operating cleaning machine. I had created the first model presented, Zack's machine is the latter.

Rough blueprints of Our eXhibit

Above-ground area of our exhibit. Consists of:

  • Dolphin Show Stadium
  • Interactive Exhibits
  • Souvenir Shops
  • Basic Amentities (food stalls, toilets, etc,)
  • Back-of-House Area (connected to the stadium

E = Enclosures, T = Toliets, F = Food Stalls, B= Back-of-House Area, S = Souvenir Shops, X's = Seats

Underground area of our exhibit. Consists of:

  • Underwater Tunnel (tunnel is the walkpath, animals swim overhead)
  • Admission centre to pay for the Underwater Tunel
  • "Glow Room"
  • Deep-Sea Enclosures
  • Gift shop at the end of tunnel. (Accessible without going in the tunnel)

E = Enclosure

Thank you for reading and indulging in my work, reviews, observations and perspectives.

~Hiro Kim

Evaluate more. Give more information on how activities help you apply on proposal

Reflection pRocess

Understanding the challenge

This term our challenge has been extended from creating hypothetical blueprints and designs, to now materialising these "architectural" plans into a prototype form. The task is extremely potentially beneficisl for zoologists and aspirants in this field of work. The task also incorporates archeology, designing and basic programming and coding which lead to majorly successful careers. This will significantly impact the communities through passing the gained knowledge (from this task,) which insspires and interests dedicated or unsure students. Personally, I desire to become a computer programmer and evidently, this task has educated me on the many helpful and problematic events that will occur, and broadened my views on what these occupations can achieve. Conclusively, a multitude of people of a variety of ages will be impacted beneficially through the knowledge shared and gained, though only a school project, this contains the possibility of creating future leaders and successful establishments.

GuidiNg questions/research

Our most valuable questions consisted of those being on a more broad and general scale in comparison to those being specific and relating a singular animal. Much more information and data had been absorbed on sources and websites which contained the fundamentally essential knowledge neccesary to support our animals and enclosures. In comparison to searching specific animal questions, useful information is gained, however at a significantly slower pace due to the limited material it could provide (because of the specificality of our search). Ultimately, it was the general questions which proved most valuable in our researching processes.

General questioning

The most valuable resources I discovered were the sources written by professionals in these fields of work. We were able to find vital information that could be applied to our zoology and marine-life topics. The information provided was extremely beneficial and new, interesting knowledge was gained through clear and descriptive terminology relevant to the subject. Though other sources were helpful, they usually only provided basic information that could not be specifically applied to our ocean-themed exhibit and rephrased common knowledge which was occasionally irrelevant and abundant.

Steve Irwin - professional Australian zoologist.

Most surprisingly, our group has discovered that the deep-animals we have decided to include in our enclosure require minimum special treatment despite the extremely different environments (temperature, pressure, etc). It has been scientifically proven that deep-sea animals specifically require their relative, natural temperature and can survive in captivity.

Thermocline (Temperatures in sea depths)
The solution

Many processes were used in creating our final solution, some of these included: SCAMPER, SWOT analysis, bloom's taxonomy, question webs, Venn diagrams, etc. These were extremely advantageous in generating ideas and noting the characterises of the idea produced (positives and negatives). Once we understood the "pros and cons" of our idea/solution, it was simple task of eliminating or substituting the negative characteristics and refining and polishing our positive attributes. This strategy was constantly in use and has resulted in multiple, significant changes to our initial proposal.

Examples of the multiple strategies and concepts our team implemented.

In our designing phase we first intended to include a ground level exhibit in addition to our underground exhibit. This however was cancelled due to the sheer overload of work and strain this put upon us individually and as a team. We were contanstly rushed to finish our underground exhibit (as this was what we initially began constructing) and had this itself had taken the majority of the time we were given to construct our entire exhibit. Personally I was unsatisified with the quality of our work and my team shared the same views. This consequently led to the cancellation of the ground-level exhibit however the animals are still viewable in our underwater tunnel (below ground). These sacrifices were neccesary and was evidently a beneficial desicion that us (as a team,) were proud to make.

Our Final Prototype

I believe our exhibits pertains the potential to "make a difference" due to its innovative attractions, exotic animals and enclosures and it's appealing (predominatly) symmetricalness. Our team has proposed an extremely beneficial conservation program, especially those to our endangered species and will provide a certainly satisfying experience to customers and audiences alike. Our enclosures also immediately intrigue and interests audiences of all ages through displaying a diverse multitude of bizarre yet captivating bioluminescent animals, deep-sea marine life and benefits zoologists, endangered species and customers.

Exectuting The solution

A variety of role assigning, prototyping, material collecting and obviously, constructing was neccesary in executing our solution. Each lesson, each individual team member focussed on completing a segment or category from our exhibit. For instance, this could have been constructing the enlosure's wall from lego, painting the 3D printed animals or simply taking photographs and recording of our construction process. This strategy proved intuitive as we were able to successfully finish construction of our exhibit on time. Overall, the system we chose to abide by proved effective and reliable and is highly recommended for students who must work cooperatively together.

Each lesson we had set a specific objective or goal we wished to complete during that period and had planned each "goal" accordingly so we would eventually complete the final task. This method significantly made the whole task seem easier as we could understand each component and part we needed to complete, which accumulated to the "final solution". Examples of this include: 3D printed animals, constructing enclosures, creating amentities, (etc.) as the components we desired to complete. If we chose the 3D printed animals as our focus for the lesson, we would take appropriate actions and procedures neccesary such as removing filament, sanding the animals and painting them. This would then be one of our "components" of the exhibit completed.

Roles and Responsibilities

Obstacles faced during is process were very closely related to the obstacles found in the "teamwork" category of my reflection. The main obstacles and difficulties consisted of procrastination, lack of materials and resources and absent teammates however the effects of these detrimental issues are explained in the paragraph below.


The challenges we faced were partially convictable to us indivually, and some challenges were unavoidable. Admittedly, there were several lessons in which we functioned unproductively and consequently, was unable to progress and advance. Many factors were responsible such as distractions, procrasitanation and difficulty in completing the objective. I believe we were equally at fault for the delinquency provided and it was vital that we acknowledged these problems to correct and avoid future mistakes. Other challenges faced were (as stated before,) unavoidable. These consisted of the lack materials, missing resources and unavailable teammates at the present time. For example, our team hoped to apply modelling clay in order to create numerous amentities and animals however, was not avaliable until approximately 3 weeks after our construction phase. Mentioned before was the burdening absence of team mates on certain days, these were from extracurricular activities which clashed with our STEAM lessons and from illnesses and sicknesses. Eventually, we were able to adapt to these "difficulties" and was required to work more efficaciously because of these setbacks.

Procrastination, unavailable teammates, lack of materials/resources

I believe we were able to successfully utilise our indivual abilities to work optimally and efficiently. We first established our strengths, weaknesses and preferences to assign our roles and positions in this team when constructing. (As stated earlier,) this process worked efficiently and was adequately productive to constructing our prototype. In group (informal) assessments such as presentations and tasks, (though quite trivial when comparing to the prototyping phase,) we occasionally selected roles based on intelligence, creativity and practicality. An example of this includes selecting the scribe when brainstorming, we mutually selected a teammate who was capable of writing quickly and chose the two other suitable teammates for the "brainstorming" process. From these experiences I have learnt that collaboration requires an immense amount of concentration and cooperation as if these attributes are not apparent in a team, they surely will be able to collaborate successfully.

You can't collaborate alone!
Review of your work

There were admittedly many more efficient, effective and more appealing ways in which to complete this challenge. If we're to retake the task, I would definitely be more realistic with my designing phase as our team had completely underestimated the difficulty of constructing our designs. I would instead choose a simpler design however I would still attempt to include the diversity of animals that were incorporated in our current design.

Another detrimental issue our solution contained was the scaling and measurement process. This was one of the most pernicious factors in when constructing and is most definitely, an issue that I will "never forget". When retrying the challenge I will strive to ensure both the animals and the enclosures are created in the same scale as this hugely degraded our presentation as appeared extremely unrealistic when our animals did not have any space to move freely. In light of all of the above, numerous difficulties occurred during this challenge and if I was to retry this task, I would ensure these errors would not reappear and constantly continue to do so.

Erasing Errors

New knowledge was gained almost every lesson from theoretical zoology information to practical methods to complete activities. When required to research and select our animals, my team was suggesting exotic, mysterious animals that I've never heard of before! The pacific viper fish, attolla jellyfish and the clusterwink snail just to name a few. More interestingly was the requirements neccesary to successfully display these animals in enclosures. On the other hand, I constantly learned and adapted to intergrate the most productive and efficient way to construct our prototype. From learning how to properly use the hacksaw and program the little bits kit. A whole multitude of new skills and knowledge was absorbed because of this task. Each founding/discovery is in more detail if you refer to the previous paragraphs.

Learning and Application

A diverse variety of skills were utilised in creating our final solution which can be appertaining to multiple real-world applications. The main skills needed were: designing, architecture, circuitry, coding, sketching/drafting, reasoning, justifying, evaluating, artistic skill and many more that have not been mentioned. These few examples relate to or occupy most leading occupations and career paths in modern society. Once understanding the immeasurable potential benefits which can be achieved and implemented in future situations, it is genuinely spectacular at how relevantly assistive this shall be.

Careers in Society

I was able to apply many new skills to a variety of subjects and am able to do so for some hypothetical or potential subjects for the future. The tools and strategies STEAM has incorporated (such as blooms taxonomy and SWOT analysis,) can be applied to any task or challenge from virtually any subject. These strategies assist us in analysing the task by breaking it down to smaller, fundamental components and evidently will evaluate the criteria and what is expected/neccesary. Some other skills were more specific and could be applied to particularised subjects. Learning to sand (paper) 3D printed objects or accurately cutting balsa wood would prove to be extremely beneficial if the student was participate in a industrial design course, or learning to code with the "Arduino" program can be applied to information communication technologies courses. The list extends further including: zoology, animal welfare, circuitry, etc.

Potential Occupation Paths

Ultimately, this task has proven to teach students a variety of newfound skills and strategies in which they can apply to other subjects and future scenarios. New discoveries of information regarding animals and the tools used to achieve the final solution may inspire pupils to follow a certain career path, or choose to implement these modernistic advances in science and technology in other assesments and occupations. Overall, this opportunistic task has undeniably broadened my knowledge and refined my set of skills which further prepares us for what the unknown future beholds.

EnClosure video

Thank you for indulging in my thoughts and processes of this extensive journey

~ Hiro Kim


Created with images by suyashdixit - "singapore aquarium jellyfish" • Steppenwolf1979 - "gorilla zoo monkey" • StormmillaGirl - "reptile eskilstuna exotic" • Pexels - "animal big cat safari" • PublicDomainPictures - "shark fish hammerhead shark" • lpittman - "divers underwater ocean" • hansbenn - "rhino pachyderm big game" • Pardee Ave. - "Zoo" • paulbr75 - "dolphin child children" • eroyka - "worker little girl hammer freedom strength shipyard" • galaman03 - "nose doctor fish fish aquarium zoo duisburg" • StartupStockPhotos - "student typing keyboard text woman startup business" • Pexels - "code code editor coding computer data developing" • jakemohan - "Aquarium"

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