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Colchester Zoo School STEM project!

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Over recent months Colchester Zoo has been part of a collaborative Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) project with local schools in the Colchester and Tendring area.

The project involved after-school STEM clubs creating a piece of technology for a particular brief; in this case an automatic    Sun bear feeder! Their task was to design a programmable feeding device for our Sun bears that can operate anytime of the day.

Our Sun bears are extremely inquisitive and use all of their senses to find food. We cater for this by offering lots of different enrichment throughout the day. By adding a feeding device that is programmable we will be able to give random feeds during the evening too.

The students were given a number of parameters in which to work and after six months designing and creating a prototype of their system, they recently presented their ideas to a panel of judges made up of Colchester Zoo’s education department and the bear’s head keeper.

Andy Moore, Colchester Zoo’s Learning Manager said, “It was an excellent event and I was very pleased with the quality of the designs and the way in which they were presented. Tendring Technical College won the competition, but Stanway and Gilberd School put in some great designs too!”

As winners of the competition, Tendring Technical College, with help from the two runner up schools, will have their original design developed to become a real feature in our Sun bears’ enclosure! 

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