Conservation Project: Panamanian Golden Frog

Panama Golden Frog

3rd to 5th grade

Engage and Assess

Participants will enter the Ford Education Center and be “transported” to the Panamanian rainforest. Participants will hear the story of how zoos and aquariums are working to save frog populations before they go extinct.


  • Observation
  • Formulating hypotheses
  • Interpreting data
  • Forming arguments based on data

Science Concepts / Standards

  • MS-LS2-1: Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems
    • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-4: Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems
    • Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.


  • 60-minute experience
  • Maximum of 35 students and five adults

Participants will take on the role of a wildlife ecologist to determine the best potential release locations for Panamanian golden frogs that have been raised in zoos and aquariums. Participants will practice collecting and analyzing water quality data from replicated potential release sites and compare it to known acceptable ranges, analyze aerial images to determine proximity of human development and practice animal well-checks on model frogs.

Celebrating and Saving Wildlife

As participants are collecting data, staff demonstrate humane treatment of the “frog specimens” during data collection. Participants handle the model specimens the same way a professional would and return each specimen to the same place it was found.

Take Action

Participants receive information on FrogWatchUSA, a citizen science project. Participants collect data on amphibian populations in or near their own backyards to submit to scientists.

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