Student Programs at the Zoo

Program Description

If you are looking for a way to enhance your class visit to the Zoo, our new on-site school programs can encourage your students to learn more about the natural world! Classes are offered at elementary, intermediate and commencement levels and are aligned with the National and New York State Learning Standards. Students have the opportunity to observe animals in our classroom with instruction by Zoo staff, followed by animal exploration activities that will take them to focal animal sites throughout the Zoo. Class size is limited to 20-25 students for maximum interactivity and program quality.


Program Details

What’s For Dinner? (Grades K-8)
How are servals able to hunt alone whereas lions hunt in groups? How can some birds tear meat while others eat only plants? Using biofacts and live animals students will observe and examine predators and their prey and will discover the adaptations each has for eating or avoiding being eaten.


Dazzling Defenses (grades K-2)
Why is a poison dart frog so brightly colored? Why does a porcupine have such sharp quills? Students first explore their five senses through a variety of sensory “experiments,” and then make the connection between senses and animal defenses. Live animal demonstrations will reveal how animal senses differ from our own, and allow students to discover the ways that animals defend themselves and find food.


Arctic Expedition (grades K-12).
The Arctic Tundra is home to many amazing animals that are perfectly adapted for life in this harsh environment. Using grade-appropriate methods, we’ll learn how these animals adaptations enable them to survive in the tundra and ways that human-driven climate change are affecting their livelihoods.


Rainforest Adventure (grades K-4)
More than half of the plant and animal species in the world make the rainforest their home. Uncover the basics of these tropical treasures by exploring rainforest layers, investigating animal adaptations, and discovering the forests’ abundant resources. Following a classroom introduction, students will search for clues in the Zoo’s Rainforest Falls exhibit to become experts in this biome of biodiversity!


Food Web Exploration (grades 3-5)
How do desert foxes keep cool in such a hot, dry place? Unearth the basics of habitats with hands-on activities and observations of plant and animal adaptations. Discover how plants and animals are linked as components of food chains and food webs. Students will create their own food web by exploring how the animals at the Zoo are interconnected.


Conservation Investigators (grades 5-8)
How do scientists save endangered species? Students will become Conservation Team Investigators to uncover reasons why animals are endangered and to find out how research can help protect species. Use tools of a field biologist to learn how they find clues to locate animals in the wild. Then investigate conservation issues at the Zoo’s modern research field station exhibit: Ecostation!


Taxonomic Trek (grades 6-8)
Mammals, birds, and reptiles, oh my! How do scientists classify animals into groups? Investigate taxonomy at the Zoo with our lesson and our own version of a dichotomous key. Then embark on a taxonomic trek around the Zoo to learn about more animals and their characteristics.


Animal Behavior (grades 9-12)
Why do zoologists and psychologists study animal behavior? Find out why, learn about different types of animal behavior, and how to make observations. Students then have the opportunity to “become” scientists as they study animals throughout the Zoo and record their observations.


Custom Program (all)
Do you have a topic in mind that would be perfect to culminate your visit to the Zoo? Call us to see if arranging a custom program for your class is possible!



Contact us at 716-995-6143 for more information or to register