EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: Belle Isle Nature Center has reopened! LEARN MORE

In Person Learning Labs at the Detroit Zoo

A classroom visit to the Detroit Zoo is a memory students carry with them long after they board the bus to go back to school. Learning Labs elevate students’ learning by providing immersive experiences that help students take on the identities of scientists, conservationists, and future zoologists as they connect with natural world.
$450 per classroom (tri-county discount)
$550 per classroom (outside of the tri-county area).
Includes admission and the education program.
Register online to choose an available date and time.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION REGISTRATION
Animal Size
Grades PRE-K-1

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 and use non-standard measurements to explore the diversity of animal size.


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Life Cycles
Grades K-2

Few things inspire wonder in young learners as much as learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. Through a series of hands-on activities in a station-based format, young learners explore the butterfly life cycle, make observations about the structure and function of their wings and bodies and use non-standard units to measure the size of several species of butterflies and moths. Learners journal their observations, record their data and reflect on their experience that complements both local and national science standards.

3-LS1-1, K-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1LS3-1


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Conservation Project: Penguins
Grades 3-5

Step into the role of a conservation scientist! Learners will be ‘transported’ to a field station in Antarctica, where their mission is to document information about the penguins who live in a nearby colony. A pre-field-work briefing will assign roles to each learner and prepare them for their outing, including checking the weather and ocean conditions before jumping into their zodiac to get to the colony. Once there, the research teams will identify penguins and record measurements including their height, weight, beak lengths and more. Back at the field station, the group will compare their data and will use this to assess the overall well-being of each group of penguins they observed.


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Conservation Project: Panamanian Golden Frogs
Grades 3-5

Panamanian Golden Frogs have not been seen in the wild since 2009. Several zoos and aquariums, including the Detroit Zoological Society, currently care for assurance populations, intending to release these frogs back into their native cloud forest habitat in Panama someday. Learners will take on the role of a conservationist as they participate in a simulated case study to determine where the best spot will be to release a population of frogs in their native habitat. Water quality and other replicated tests will help learners collect data to assess each proposed location and make a final recommendation.

5-ESS3-1, 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1, 5-ESS3-1, 3-5-ETS1-2


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Wildlife Biologist: Isle Royale
Grades 6-8

Isle Royale is home to the world’s longest continuous study of predator-prey relationships. With over sixty years of data about moose and wolf populations, participants will take on the role of a wildlife biologist, analyze factual information and consider how humans have directly and indirectly changed this isolated ecosystem. Participants will take this one step further and evaluate the perspectives of the plants and animals that call Isle Royale home before justifying their position in the ongoing debate about what is the best course of action for the island’s future.

LS2.A, LS2.C, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-4


COMING SOON!
Wildlife Biologist: Michigan Bats
Grades 6-8

Small but mighty, bats consume copious quantities of harmful insects, pollinate night-blooming flowers and disperse the seeds of hundreds of plants. These essential night-flying predators are generally misunderstood and the least studied of all mammals but their population numbers are declining at an alarming rate worldwide. Come and work the “night shift” with us! Turn on your headlamp and grab your gear as you step into the role of a bat biologist and identify the presence of different species with acoustic monitoring technology used in the field. Then, collect biometric measurements to identify the overall health of individual bats while assessing for the presence of White-Nose Syndrome, a fungus that is greatly impacting bat populations.

LS4.D, LS2.C


COMING SOON!
Zoo Careers: Animal Behavior
Grades 9-12

Animal care staff use many methods to ensure they are providing the best possible care to the animals. The Detroit Zoological Society has an entire department of talented staff dedicated to understanding more about animals through in- depth research projects. Learners will engage in the same data collection processes to observe and document animal behavior, then work with DZS education staff to analyze and compare their data and reflect on how this information can benefit the animals. Participants will be encouraged to generate additional investigable questions.


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Wildlife Forensics
Grades 9-12

Wildlife forensics is the use of scientific methods to study potential crimes committed against wildlife. A short overview of the field of study of wildlife forensics will be provided prior to a visit to the Detroit Zoo, where learners will work in small groups to use science process skills as they investigate a simulated wildlife crime scene and document their findings. Learners will communicate their evidence-based findings back to the larger group as they reflect on the overall process and the importance of this growing career opportunity.

HS-ETS1-1


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Zoo Careers: Medical
Grades 9-12

A hypothetical veterinary case, developed by a DZS vet, will introduce the critical thinking process that the animal care team use on a daily basis. A behind-the-scenes tour of the vet hospital highlights the equipment used and adapted to meet the needs of tiny frogs to great apes.


Tri-County Registration

Other Counties Registration