Biology Students Redesign the Minnesota Zoo

Thursday evening was the culmination of a semester of collaborations, research, and design for Mrs. Jansen’s Biology students.  The Minnesota Zoo asked students from Minnesota and surrounding states to participate in a redesign for their nocturnal animals hall, which was quite old and boarded up and no longer matched the rainforest theme of the rest of the building.  Mrs. Jansen explains what the students were asked to do:

The hall currently “only contains two Linne's two-toed sloths and a Burmese python. The zoo wanted groups to choose three animals to add to the space in addition to keeping the sloths and snake, redesign the hall to fit in the theme of Rainforest, add a kids interactive play area, and highlight rainforest conservation efforts. To meet these requirements, students not only needed to research rainforest ecosystems and choose animals, but they also had to balance the needs of the animals with the needs of the zoo keepers and the needs of the visitors as they made scaled blueprints and a scaled 3D model. The culmination of the project was the creation of a presentation board and 3D model to showcase their design process and to present their project at an open house in the gym. The groups had 5 minutes to present their plan for the new hallway.”

Many parents and some community members came to hear about the choices that students made and see their research and 3D models.  The students were able to research, collaborate, write, construct and then communicate what they had learned.   It was a wonderful way to give these seekers of knowledge an opportunity to create a lasting impact on God’s world.