By Francesca Mazzilli, Yr 12
On Monday 17 June we had the opportunity to visit Colchester Zoo to observe animal behaviour as part of our Science studies. To ensure a successful trip, we decided beforehand the animals we would be observing and the possible behaviour they would manifest.
This hugely related to our “Research Methods” topic as we could come up with our own hypotheses and assumptions as well as understand how animals may be conditioned to react and behave a certain way.
We began our day by meeting a member of staff that gave us an insightful 90 minute talk in which we reviewed operant and classical conditioning, the role of reinforcement and punishment and finally understood how learning can be achieved through observation and imitation.
Our session concluded as we put everything we had discussed in practice and had the opportunity to train Colchester Zoo’s goats. We were then free to look round the rest of the zoo, while collecting data, and take part in some of the animal encounters that were offered such as feeding the elephants and giraffes.
Overall, I can confidently say the trip was great fun as we all enjoyed the sun and made the most of our time outside the classroom!
Year 9 Colchester Zoo Trip
In June the science department took year nine to Colchester zoo for the day to study how animals have adapted to live in their environments. The zoo staff gave a very interesting talk in which the students learned about the structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations of predator and prey animals and those which live in hot and cold environments.
Other highlights included a train ride and a close encounter in the lemur enclosure along with a giraffe and elephant feed and many, many steps before an exhausted year 9 returned to Felsted. The rain held off and a great day was had by all.