“This is like a sci-fi movie!” say students in Lisbon ZOO
Let’s visit the capital of Portugal this week. In Lisbon, there is the biggest ZOO in the country. Every year, more than 75,000 people come to discover all the species they have and a big part of the visitors are school groups. There’s no wonder. The educational program of Lisbon ZOO is linked to the Portuguese Biology curricula.
In the ZOO, there is a group of educators who work with the students daily. To get most out of the time they have, they combine real life animals and Lifeliqe. This way they can show the hidden and invisible parts.
“It guarantees that students learn all the different terms in the animal’s anatomy,” explains Tiago Carrilho, one of the Lisbon Zoo’s educators, the motivation to work with Corinth models now available on Lifeliqe.
Taking a look inside
The educators who work in the ZOO use Lifeliqe for activities in the ZOO but also during visits to various schools in the region. It helps them to teach about animal anatomy, plant anatomy, and Earth sciences.
“I think for the younger students it’s easier to learn about something they can’t see (like bones and earth interior) and for me, as an educator, it’s also easier to explain all the things. In older students I think this app increase the engagement and the interest in all activities,” explains Tiago.
For the team of educators, Corinth models also represent a digital 3D supplement of their animal collection, as it enables to take a look inside the animals from different angles and illustrate different aspects of their life that could never be done with a live animal in such a detailed way.
“Using this technology to teach biology combined with outdoor experiences is something that our students love!” says the director of Lisbon ZOO educational program Maria Antonietta Costa.
Here is an example: Educators usually take students to Aldabra giant turtle and make them guess how does it look inside. Students get a deep look at the animal and then they start exploring the tortoise’s body with Lifeliqe model on tablets. Usually, this method starts a discussion about the hidden aspects of animal life.
Tiago appreciates Lifeliqe for this three reasons:
It’s more interactive than other tools.
It gives students the possibility to explore the key information on their own.
It increases the knowledge about anatomy.
The educator sees the reactions of children and teenagers every day:
“Normally when we start to explain how the app works, it causes a great ‘wow effect’ in students and teachers. When they explore the app on their own, they react very positively. ‘This is like a sci-fi movie!’ they say.”
Learning by doing
In Lisbon ZOO, they use the app so that the students can see detailed information and characteristics of every animal.
Usually, at the end of every lesson, they show students some real, biological materials, such as turtle scales. This way students can compare the reality with the app.
Here is a specific example of how Lifeliqe was used in one of the lessons. At first, Tiago and his coworkers they divided the students into teams of 4 students per each and then gave them four different tasks.
The first task – Research time: The students investigate what the abiotic factors are and they focus on cycles that influence these factors. Students use Geology library and search the internet. The task is to learn about the variety of ecosystems and the relations between the species in the different environments; all the findings of the abiotic factors and cycles of the earth will be written in a one note document.
The second task: Open the Biology library and look at the model of the food chain. After opening the model students have to categorize the consumers according to their taxonomy class. They are asked to explore the model and identify all the parts by clicking on each label.
The third task: Browse the animal and plant models and make a new food chain based on the models in the app. Let the students brainstorm for a while to build the chain.
The fourth task: Prepare a scheme of a new food chain with the names of the animals, their role in the chain and the abiotic factor of the ecosystem they studied in one note app.
Possible further activity:
ZOO educators share the documents that students create with their teacher and suggest to use this information in the classroom. Students can prepare a PowerPoint or keynote presentation using the Lifeliqe integration to these apps. Students can present the ecosystem they learned about and their food chain to the rest of the class.
By the way, the educators had fun with the Augmented Reality feature and shared some amazing pictures with us. We hope you saw this video. Check also this photos.