Minnesota Zoo’s ZOOMS Design Challenge – Red Panda Enrichment Engineering
- August 10, 2020
- Post Category: Offer
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2020-2021 ZOOMS STEM Design Challenge
Looking for ways to engage your students in authentic integrated STEM? The ZOOMS STEM Design Challenge offers students a chance to develop a solution to a ‘real’ problem faced by Zoo Keepers and staff at the Minnesota Zoo. While tasked with designing an enrichment for an animal at the Zoo, students will be challenged to use their science and math knowledge, creativity, problem solving, and research skills during the engineering design process in order to best solve the problem and present a solution.
Registered teachers will receive access to free design challenge supporting resources and ongoing support throughout the school year from Zoo education staff. Register your class by clicking ‘Apply Now!’ by Friday November 13th to participate. For more information on the ZOOMS design challenge, view the Enrichment Guidelines link below.
Red Panda Enrichment Design Challenge
Level 1: 3rd – 5th Grade
Level 2: 6th – 8th Grade
Level 3: 9th – 12th Grade
Develop an innovative enrichment for the red panda
As one of the most beloved animals at the Minnesota Zoo, our 9-year-old female red panda can often be found resting on her favorite tree branch in her Tropics Trail habitat that she shares with two Transcaspian urials. Described as sweet and shy, Min has been a challenge to provide enrichment for as she has shown minimal interest and hesitates to explore anything when the two urials are near. Zookeepers have identified five goals for Min that they would like help achieving through enrichment. These goals include:
- increasing her activity levels
- encouraging her to explore more of her enclosure
- helping her gain confidence to explore enrichment around the urials
- finding a better way to cool down in the Tropics humidity.
- helping Min through the transition of transferring to the Northern Trail to share the Sichuan takin exhibit as detailed in the new master plan.
While considering these goals and Min’s individual needs, developing an enrichment that also encourage natural behaviors will ensure she stays happy, healthy, and mentally engaged.