Science Inquiry at Zoo Atlanta
With almost 250 different species at Zoo Atlanta, cultivating curiosity is a specialty of ours. Whether your students are learning about ecosystems across the world or want to know why a giant panda is classified as a carnivore, these answers and many more can be explored at the Zoo. In addition to a self-guided Zoo trip, there are many instructor-led opportunities and take-home curricula and resources to foster scientific inquiry at the Zoo and in your classroom.
Zoo Atlanta provides interactive, standards-based programs and resources for at the Zoo and in the classroom, including Zoo Challenge, Professional Learning, ZooMobiles and Cases for Conservation. First up is Zoo Challenge, our inquiry-based classroom program. These grade-specific programs focus on solving real-world challenges while integrating the GSE Standards and STEM. Students are immersed in content and rotate through different learning stations. Programs are offered throughout the school year, with topics ranging from pollinators to classification.
Zoo Atlanta also offers Professional Learning opportunities for educators throughout the year. These workshops are a great way for educators to get more experience with hands-on, science-based inquiry, collaborate with other educators, and learn more about the Zoo and how we can complement your curriculum. In fact, our upcoming Professional Learning workshops dive into science inquiry in the classroom! Be sure to check out these workshops for more ways to bring science inquiry and real-world content into your class.
If packing up your students for a trip to the Zoo isn’t possible, there are still ways to bring the Zoo into your classroom and curriculum with ZooMobiles and Cases for Conservation. Our ZooMobile Outreach program provides students with a connection to animals and conservation right in the classroom. Schools can choose from 10 ZooMobile programs, which are led by Zoo educators using three live animals, biofacts such as skulls, and fun activities. To ensure our animals are comfortable and safe, we do require the program to take place in a quiet, temperature-controlled room within a 65-mile radius from the Zoo. ZooMobiles can accommodate up to 60 participants per session with up to three sessions.
Additional Zoo resources are our Cases for Conservation, a great way for students to explore hands-on activities on science and conservation based topics. These cases are filled with curriculum, biofacts and other unique Zoo-related materials and can be checked out similarly to how one would check out a book from a library. Cases are available for Pre-K through 7th grade and match up to topics covered in each grade level. These cases are free, but do require a refundable deposit to reserve and must be picked up and returned to the Zoo.
Whether you have been teaching for 20 years or are a first-year teacher, Zoo Atlanta provides real world connections to science that are sure to pique your students’ curiosity. Explore the many ways we bring the GSE Standards to life and develop scientific inquiry skills in all students.