Edzoocation

ZOOlab Topics

Special ZOOlab Opportunity

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is extending an invitation to interested teachers for participation in a school-based partnership focused on climate change. Students will also be invited to come to the Zoo on a field trip where they will participate in a free ZOOlab and discover how the changing climates of the world impact habitats and species.

Learn more about Climate Change Partnerships

All participating teachers receive:

  • Free bus to the Zoo for his or her class
  • Free ZOOlab (60-70 minutes)
  • Recommended pre-activities to use in the classroom before students participate in their ZOOlab

Estimated value = $600.00

The Climate Change Partnership for 2014 is full. Please feel free to contact the Education Department about possibilities for participating in 2015. 


Other Available ZOOlabs

ZOOlabs are focused learning sessions that last 40 to 60 minutes and highlight animal-related topics.  With the use of Animal Ambassadors, hands-on activities, and discussion, Zoo educators lead students though a fun and exciting class that supports Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards for Mathematics and Language Arts.  Program content can be tailored to fit the needs of multi-aged groups.

Price: $125 per program

Maximum group size: 30 students

Program length: 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the program

Program Topics:

Elementary

Cracking the Cranial Code (recommended for grade 3 and up) 40 minutes

Students become detectives using math skills, inquiry, and keen observations to analyze animal skulls and determine the identities, dietary preferences, and sensory adaptations of several animals. Each group of skeletal sleuths presents its results to the class, comparing and contrasting findings.

Creepy Crawlies  (recommended for grades 1 and 2) 40 minutes

Buzzzzzz… NO! Don’t squash that!  Discover what is so important about our six and eight legged friends.  Practice classifying organisms according to physical features while identifying similarities and differences.  Learn how these amazing creatures use their body parts to live and survive in their habitats.

Got Adaptations? (recommended for grades 2-5) 40 minutes

Congratulations!  You Survive!  Animals need food, water, and shelter to survive. Learn about the amazing adaptations of animals at the Zoo that enable their wild counterparts to survive in their native habitats.

Krazy Critter Kingdom (recommended for grades 1-4) 40 minutes

What is an Animal Kingdom?  In this ZooLab students will look closely at taxonomy through an interactive story which describes why scientists break animals into different groups for easier study.   Students will test their knowledge by looking at mystery boxes filled with animal characteristics.  Can they identify the characteristics of a fish, amphibian, mammal, bird, or reptile? 

Maryland Mystery Animal (recommended for grades 3-5) 40 minutes

Be a wildlife biologist and learn how to investigate animal signs using scales, rulers, visual observations, and mathematical equations.  Students will use evidence from the information they collect to solve a mystery!  We have been sent four boxes of wildlife observations from a farmer, a home owner, a teacher, and a hiker.  You and your team of wildlife biologists will do the measuring, the calculating, and the weighing to find out which animal these people were observing.

Rainforests (recommended for grades 2 and 3) 40 minutes

Give your students the opportunity to climb the different layers of the rainforest.  Learn how important the rainforest is not only to the animals who live there, but to the entire world.  Discuss how individuals and groups of organisms interact with each other and their rainforest environment.  Look closely at resources we use on a daily basis and discover where they come from.  Brainstorm ways that we can all respect this valuable habitat and conserve our resources.

Walk Across Maryland (recommended for grades 1 and 2) 40 minutes

Maryland is a little state with a big impact on wildlife.  Using movement, sound, and interactive activities we will take a journey through Maryland’s diverse habitats which include meadows, marshes, caves, and woodlands.  We will learn about the animals that live in these habitats and what they need to survive.

Wings Over Maryland Meadow (recommended for grades 1 and 2) 40 minutes

Explore Maryland’s state insect–The Checkerspot butterfly! Would you rather eat a butterfly’s lunch or a caterpillar’s lunch?  Learn insect body structures through dramatic play as one lucky student is transformed into a magnificent butterfly.  Play a metamorphosis game to understand the amazing life cycle of these animals.  Learn how people’s actions can make a big difference in an environment.

 

Middle School

 

Conservation Conundrum: African Rhino (recommended for grades 6-8) 60 minutes

Calling all actors and actresses!  While role playing, your students will participate in a round table discussion on problems associated with using animal resources, such as the African White Rhino horn.  The class will learn about the traditional uses of this artifact as well as a range of issues that impact people when this resource is used.  Throughout this debate learn how much this animal is really worth.

Conservation Conundrum: Maryland Bog Turtle (recommended for grades 6-8) 60 minutes

Where have all the bog turtles gone? During this debate students will participate in a round-table discussion on problems associated with development on endangered species habitat. Students will gain an understanding on issues that impact people when a species becomes endangered.  Learn how to protect this 4 inch turtle as we discuss its value.

Conservation Conundrum: Polar Bears (recommended for grades 6-8) 60 minutes

Students will participate in a debate on the many issues affecting polar bears and their habitat. They will learn how the loss of polar bears could affect humans by understanding the role of climate change, native cultures, and tourism. Students will discover for themselves the value of this animal and its habitat.

Working for Wildlife (recommended for grades 6-12) 40 minutes

Wouldn’t it be fun to work at a zoo?  This is your chance to find out!  Students learn about careers paths in the zoo world from ticket booth operator to head veterinarian, why each job is important and the education and experience needed to obtain these jobs.   Students will examine tools of the trade and learn ways they can fulfill their dreams and work with animals.  Teachers receive a post visit packet complete with zoo job descriptions to use as a follow up.

High School

 

Animal Behavior (recommended for grades 9-12) 45 minutes

Students will learn how essential animal training is to husbandry practices at the Zoo.  As we discuss the psychology behind training, while referencing classical and operant conditioning, select students will participate in a training demonstration and learn how to use tools to communicate an idea.  The instructor will introduce the class to specific training programs we facilitate at the Zoo while observing live training demonstrations.

Animal Signs and Radio Telemetry (recommended for grades 9-12) 45 minutes

The life of a wildlife biologist, ranger, or researcher can be tricky when it comes to finding the animals they are studying and protecting.  During this ZooLab, students should come prepared for an outdoor classroom experience where they will look closely at how to track an animal using scat, tracks, and radio telemetry.

Working for Wildlife (recommended for grades 9-12) 40 minutes

Wouldn’t it be fun to work at a zoo?  This is your chance to find out!  Students learn about careers paths in the zoo world from ticket booth operator to head veterinarian, why each job is important and the education and experience needed to obtain these jobs.   Students will examine tools of the trade and learn ways they can fulfill their dreams and work with animals.  Teachers receive a post visit packet complete with zoo job descriptions to use as a follow up.