School Groups

Detroit Zoo - School Groups
Detroit Zoo - School Groups
An exterior photo of the Ford Education Center

Detroit Zoo

Ford Education Center

Discover the Detroit Zoo, an extension of your classroom! The Ford Education Center is the heart of education opportunities that await you and your students. Our programs include inquiry and hands-on learning opportunities that support what students are already learning in their classrooms. Programs are offered year-round. Maximum group size is noted in the program descriptions.

Discover the Detroit Zoo, an extension of your classroom! The Ford Education Center is the heart of education opportunities that await you and your students. Our programs include inquiry and hands-on learning opportunities that support what students are already learning in their classrooms. Programs are offered year-round. Maximum group size is noted in the program descriptions.


Belle Isle Nature Center

The Belle Isle Nature Center provides year-round education, recreation and conservation opportunities for Detroit school children as well as other students, teachers, families and community groups throughout the tri-county area. A 1/8-mile interpretive nature trail has been developed as well as outdoor and indoor animal exhibits. Our field trip programs are FREE! Programs include a fallow deer feeding, a hands-on activity and/or biofact discovery time.

Belle Isle Nature Center Programs

The Belle Isle Nature Center provides year-round education, recreation and conservation opportunities for Detroit school children as well as other students, teachers, families and community groups throughout the tri-county area. A 1/8-mile interpretive nature trail has been developed as well as outdoor and indoor animal exhibits. Our field trip programs are FREE! Programs include a fallow deer feeding, a hands-on activity and/or biofact discovery time.

Belle Isle Nature Center Programs

  • School Groups / Field Trips
    • Group reservations must be made at least 30 days prior to your visit.
    • To make a reservation, please fill out the form below.
    • Please note that some days are not available due to special events or capacity limitations.
    • You will receive a confirmation statement with further instructions within one week from date received.

    The school group discount is only available during the traditional school year (after Labor Day through June 15, Monday – Friday).

    Pricing

    Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County
    (pre-payment required)
    Non-Tri-County
    Student – $6 Student – $8
    Adult – $6
    (includes chaperones and teachers)
    Adult – $8
    (includes chaperones and teachers)
    Parking: $8/car, $12/bus Parking: $8/car, $12/bus

    Unavailable Dates

    • Saturdays and Sundays
    • December 25
    • January 1
    • April 19 and 24
    • May 16, 17, 20, and 27
    • June 7
    Register Now      Field Trips FAQ

     

  • Ford Education Center Learning Labs

    Give your class a healthy dose of Vitamin Z!

    All programs require a minimum of 15 students. Programs are available at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise noted. For availability and/or booking, please call (248) 541-5717 ext. 3800.


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    Animal Size

    • Audience: Pre-kindergarten to first grade
    • Length: 45 minutes
    • Cost: $50 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations:  K.MD.A.1, K.MD.A.2

    How do you measure up?  Are you as tall as a tiger?  Do you have hands as big as a polar bear’s paws?  Students will use non-standard measurement to explore the amazing diversity of animal size.

    Animal Size

    • Audience: Pre-kindergarten to first grade
    • Length: 45 minutes
    • Cost: $50 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations:  K.MD.A.1, K.MD.A.2

    How do you measure up?  Are you as tall as a tiger?  Do you have hands as big as a polar bear’s paws?  Students will use non-standard measurement to explore the amazing diversity of animal size.


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    Animal Needs

    • Audience: Pre-kindergarten to first grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: K-LS1-1, LS 1.C

    What do animals need to survive? How does the animal care staff meet the needs of the animals that live at the Detroit Zoo? This station-based program will explore the great care animals receive.

    Animal Needs

    • Audience: Pre-kindergarten to first grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: K-LS1-1, LS 1.C

    What do animals need to survive? How does the animal care staff meet the needs of the animals that live at the Detroit Zoo? This station-based program will explore the great care animals receive.


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    Life Cycles

    • Audience: Kindergarten to second grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 1-LS1-2, LS1.B

    What does the life cycle of a butterfly look like up close? Station-based activities allow participants to explore and re-enact the life cycle of a butterfly.

    Life Cycles

    • Audience: Kindergarten to second grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 1-LS1-2, LS1.B

    What does the life cycle of a butterfly look like up close? Station-based activities allow participants to explore and re-enact the life cycle of a butterfly.


    A king penguin

    Penguin Project

    • Audience: Second to fourth grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 1-LS1-2, LS1.B

    Find out what it’s like to be a penguin keeper! Participants will take on the role of penguin keepers and simulate several tasks keepers do to care for the penguins.

    Penguin Project

    • Audience: Second to fourth grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 1-LS1-2, LS1.B

    Find out what it’s like to be a penguin keeper! Participants will take on the role of penguin keepers and simulate several tasks keepers do to care for the penguins.


    A marsh area

    Web of Life

    • Audience: Fourth to sixth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 5-LS2-1, LS 2-A, LS 2-B

    See what lies beneath the surface of the water through this hands-on science experience. Participants will investigate the aquatic food chain of the Cotton Family Wetlands by identifying benthic organisms. This program is only offered September to October and March to June.

    Web of Life

    • Audience: Fourth to sixth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 5-LS2-1, LS 2-A, LS 2-B

    See what lies beneath the surface of the water through this hands-on science experience. Participants will investigate the aquatic food chain of the Cotton Family Wetlands by identifying benthic organisms. This program is only offered September to October and March to June.


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    Conservation Project: Panamanian Golden Frogs

    • Audience: Fourth to sixth grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $75 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS4-4

    Panamanian golden frogs have not been found in the wild in the last decade. Participants will take on the role of conservation scientists to see if they can discover what caused the population to vanish.

    Conservation Project: Panamanian Golden Frogs

    • Audience: Fourth to sixth grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $75 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS4-4

    Panamanian golden frogs have not been found in the wild in the last decade. Participants will take on the role of conservation scientists to see if they can discover what caused the population to vanish.


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    Conservation Project: Wolves

    • Audience: Fourth to sixth grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $75 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, MS-LS2-1,MS-LS4-4

    The wolf population on Isle Royale, an island located in Lake Superior, is collapsing. Participants will investigate potential causes of this population crisis and what the future for wolves on the island may include.

    Conservation Project: Wolves

    • Audience: Fourth to sixth grade
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $75 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, MS-LS2-1,MS-LS4-4

    The wolf population on Isle Royale, an island located in Lake Superior, is collapsing. Participants will investigate potential causes of this population crisis and what the future for wolves on the island may include.


    Two children using iPad dissection app

    Virtual Dissection: A Humane Alternative

    • Audience: Sixth to eighth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: MS-LS1-2, MS-LS1-7

    Participants will visit the National Amphibian Conservation Center, home to more than a thousand fascinating amphibians. An interactive, virtual-reality dissection of a frog will allow participants to build their understanding of frog anatomy while ensuring wild populations of these critically important species are not compromised.

    Virtual Dissection: A Humane Alternative

    • Audience: Sixth to eighth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: MS-LS1-2, MS-LS1-7

    Participants will visit the National Amphibian Conservation Center, home to more than a thousand fascinating amphibians. An interactive, virtual-reality dissection of a frog will allow participants to build their understanding of frog anatomy while ensuring wild populations of these critically important species are not compromised.


    Veterinarians at work

    Zoo Careers: Animal Medicine

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Education Development – Career Exploration

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a Zoo veterinarian? Step into the role of a veterinarian and work as a team on a case study of an animal who needs your help.

    Zoo Careers: Animal Medicine

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Education Development – Career Exploration

    Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a Zoo veterinarian? Step into the role of a veterinarian and work as a team on a case study of an animal who needs your help.


    A Blanding's turtle

    Zoo Careers: Blanding’s Turtle Case Study

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Education Development – Career Exploration

    Conservation scientists at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge have identified a problem — field staff have been unable to find any juvenile Blanding’s turtles. Participants will work as a team to provide simulated care for model turtles as they support the Detroit Zoological Society’s head-start program to help this endangered species.

    Zoo Careers: Blanding’s Turtle Case Study

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade
    • Length: 90 minutes
    • Cost: $75, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Education Development – Career Exploration

    Conservation scientists at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge have identified a problem — field staff have been unable to find any juvenile Blanding’s turtles. Participants will work as a team to provide simulated care for model turtles as they support the Detroit Zoological Society’s head-start program to help this endangered species.


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    Wildlife Forensics

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade (Recommended for anatomy and physiology courses)
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Science and engineering – planning and carrying out investigations and engaging in argument from evidence

    Participants will take on the role of a wildlife forensics specialist and have an opportunity to excavate a disarticulated (replica) skeleton. They will use problem-solving skills to uncover what caused the animal’s death.

    Wildlife Forensics

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade (Recommended for anatomy and physiology courses)
    • Length: 60 minutes
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Science and engineering – planning and carrying out investigations and engaging in argument from evidence

    Participants will take on the role of a wildlife forensics specialist and have an opportunity to excavate a disarticulated (replica) skeleton. They will use problem-solving skills to uncover what caused the animal’s death.


    Detroit Zoo - Giraffes

    Animal Behavior

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade (Recommended for biology courses)
    • Length: 60 minute
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Science and engineering – asking questions, defining problems and analyzing and interpreting data

    Prior to visiting the Zoo, a video introduction to how scientists study animal behavior will prepare participants to practice ethology and use an ethogram, a tool researchers use to document animal behavior. During the Zoo visit, participants will use ethograms to collect data while observing animals in their habitats. Detroit Zoological Society staff will conduct a virtual meet-up with participants after the visit to assist in analyzing and comparing data, and reflect on the challenges and benefits ethology provides animal care experts.

    Animal Behavior

    • Audience: Ninth to twelfth grade (Recommended for biology courses)
    • Length: 60 minute
    • Cost: $65 per class, plus admission (maximum 35 students and five chaperones)
    • Curriculum Correlations: Science and engineering – asking questions, defining problems and analyzing and interpreting data

    Prior to visiting the Zoo, a video introduction to how scientists study animal behavior will prepare participants to practice ethology and use an ethogram, a tool researchers use to document animal behavior. During the Zoo visit, participants will use ethograms to collect data while observing animals in their habitats. Detroit Zoological Society staff will conduct a virtual meet-up with participants after the visit to assist in analyzing and comparing data, and reflect on the challenges and benefits ethology provides animal care experts.

  • Donor-funded Day at the Zoo Application

    Detroit Zoo - Day at the Zoo

    The Detroit Zoological Society’s Day at the Zoo (DATZ) is funded by generous donors, including those who have contributed to the David K. Page Fund. DATZ ensures local students have the opportunity to experience the Detroit Zoo. Spaces are limited.

    The program includes:

    • Admission for students plus one adult chaperone for every five students
    • Stipend for bus transportation
    • Nutritious lunches for registered students and adults
    • Age-appropriate learning activities

    The application period is closed at this time; please check back in January 2019 for the next application period.


    For more information about educational opportunities at the Detroit Zoo, click here.  Thank you for considering the Detroit Zoo for your students’ learning experience.