The Louisville Zoo offers educational experiences that provide an opportunity for students to discover natural phenomena in an immersive learning environment. The zoo’s education department strives to make each educational experience an extension of the classroom.
The zoo’s school field trip offerings for the 2018-2019 school year include programs and classes for all grade levels. In addition, two new exhibits will open in spring 2019: Snow Leopard Pass and Colobus Crossing.
Here are the programs available for school field trips:
- “Animal Adventure Passport Program” (for grades K-2; available Tuesdays March 12-May 14) – This is a free experience available to any pre-registered K-2 group. Students will receive a Zoo Passport and earn stamps as they visit science exploration stations aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards around the zoo. Each station will use biological artifacts and activities to engage students in learning.
- “Animals and their Environments” (for 3rd grade) – During this field study experience, students will use observation and guided questioning to investigate the different social structures of animals. Making comparisons between species and collecting data, they will create an argument to justify the behavior they observe. Using a variety of scientific practices, students will walk away with a deeper understanding of adaptations and animal behavior. The program is part of the zoo’s “Animals and their Environments” curriculum, a free downloadable resource for use in the classroom.
- “Surviving in Your Ecosystem” (for 4th grade) – During this field study experience, students will focus on observing animals found in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. While touring the zoo, students will experience guided questioning to investigate the animals they see, record data about each and begin to compare the external and internal structures they observe. Using a variety of scientific practices, students will walk away with a deeper understanding of animal’s physical adaptations and structure/function. The program is part of the zoo’s “Surviving in Your Ecosystem” curriculum, a free downloadable resource for use in the classroom.
- “Gorilla Discovery” (for grades 3-5; available spring 2019) – Tour the zoo’s Gorilla Forest exhibit and get an up-close view of what makes these animals unique, while discussing how the zoo’s team of keepers provides them with the highest standard of care and how zoos and aquariums around the United States are helping to save species through conservation and action. Learn about the vast diversity of animals from Africa, and get up close with the zoo’s small animal ambassadors.
- “Genetics: Inheritance of Traits” (for grades 6-8; available spring 2019) – Genetic inheritance explains how characteristics are passed from one generation to the next. Using scientific practices, this program will immerse students in activities and experiences designed to ignite their curiosity while engaging in scientific discussion.
- “The Purposes of Modern Zoos: Endangerment and Conservation” (for grades 9-12; available fall 2018 and spring 2019) – Zoos play an important role in conserving species in the rapidly changing world. In this program, students will learn the history of zoos, their progression over time and their role as a collective voice for conservation. This program includes a guided tour of the zoo and up-close encounters with our ambassador animals.
The zoo also offers free onsite activities for students, teachers and chaperones designed to provide classes with extra engagement while they visit the zoo.
In addition, the zoo’s website has free online resources for teachers, including animal fact sheets and exploration cards.
Visit the zoo’s website for more information.