Behind the scenes at the Louisville Zoo

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Bobby Ellis
bobby.ellis@education.ky.gov

As a group of teachers from across the state entered the room for one recent professional learning session, they were greeted by some animals that you don’t normally see in a reception area. 

In a pen in the center of the room, an armadillo ran excitedly back and forth. A hedgehog sat in the hands of Jo Barrett, sniffing the air. And around the outside of the room, a tegu –  a large, 3-ft. long lizard – walked, flicking the air with its tongue. 

The teachers had come to take part in the Louisville Zoo in 3D event, a day focused on showing educators that the zoo can be a valuable educational tool. 

“The goal is to show teachers that the zoo is more than just a field trip opportunity,” said Jennifer Payne, a teacher from Daviess County. “The teachers today aren’t just getting a chance to see cool animals, they’re walking away with curriculum to take home.” 

After their morning greeting in the reception area, the teachers sat in on a session with Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt, who spoke on the importance of three-dimensional science teaching and framing science education around natural phenomenon. Terri Roth, the director of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Carl H. Lindner Jr. Family Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), who spoke on her experiences in creating breeding populations of endangered species, such as the Sumatran rhino. 

Finally, they were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo’s facilities, including the housing area for the bears, tigers and sea lions. 

“I loved seeing the tigers up close,” said Alex Waddell, a 2nd-grade teacher at Conkwright Elementary School (Clark County). “It was really impressive to see everything that they do.” 

If you’re interested in taking a class on a trip to the Louisville Zoo, you can get more information from their “Education” page.

For more information on CREW, visit its education page to learn more. 

Christine Masolo, of King Elementary School (Jefferson County) takes a picture of a hedgehog during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Christine Masolo, a teacher at King Elementary School (Jefferson County), takes a picture of a hedgehog during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A group of teachers are greeted by an armadillo during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event. The event focused on introducing teachers to the idea of using the zoo and its resources for more than just field trips. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A group of teachers are greeted by an armadillo during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event. The event focused on introducing teachers to the idea of using the zoo and its resources for more than just field trips.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A tiger watches from its pen as teachers tour behind the scenes of their enclosure during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A tiger watches from its pen as teachers tour behind the scenes of their enclosure during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Amy Seadler shows teachers the different toys given to bears at the Louisville Zoo. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Louisville Zoo employee Amy Seadler shows teachers the damage a bear can do to toys given to them as enrichment materials.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A sea lion swims through the water during the sea lion show at the Louisville Zoo. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A sea lion swims through the water during the sea lion show at the Louisville Zoo.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A grizzly bear swims in a pool of water in its enclosure behind the scenes at the Louisville Zoo. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A grizzly bear swims in a pool of water in its enclosure behind the scenes at the Louisville Zoo.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Amy Seadler gives a behind the scenes tour of the seal and sea lion enclosure to teachers during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Louisville Zoo employee Amy Seadler gives a behind-the-scenes tour of the seal and sea lion enclosure to teachers during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Commissioner Stephen Pruitt stands next to a sea lion during a behind the scenes tour of the Louisville Zoo. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt stands next to a sea lion during a tour that was part of a professional learning day for teachers. The event focused on showing educators that the zoo can be a valuable educational tool. 
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A sea lion receives at the Louisville Zoo receives a treat during a behind the scenes tour. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
A sea lion at the Louisville Zoo receives a treat during a behind-the-scenes tour.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Whitney Dotson, a 4th-grade teacher at Conkwright Elementary School (Clark County), pets a hedgehog during the Louisville Zoo in 3D. Teachers from around the state toured behind the scenes at the Louisville Zoo and sat in on lectures from Commissioner Stephen Pruitt and Dr. Terri Roth, the director of Cincinnati Zoo's CREW. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
Whitney Dotson, center, a 4th-grade teacher at Conkwright Elementary School (Clark County), pets a hedgehog during the Louisville Zoo in 3D. Teachers from around the state toured behind the scenes at the Louisville Zoo and learned about the importance of three-dimensional science teaching and framing science education around natural phenomenon.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
An Argentine black and white tegu walks across the floor of the greeting room that teachers arrived in during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event. Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017
An Argentine black and white tegu walks across the floor of the greeting room that teachers arrived in during the Louisville Zoo in 3D event.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, June 13, 2017

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