Special Topic Program

Return to At-the-Zoo Programs.

Zoo Science
Grade: 4th +
Program Theme: Science and the scientific method are used in many aspects of zoo operations including animal care and wildlife conservation.

Program Activities:
NOTE – Allow at least 90 minutes for this program. After a review of the scientific method, students will participate in at least two activities in which they will be posed with a question, collect data, analyze the data, draw a conclusion, and present their results. Teachers have the option of several activities based on the level of their students. Possible activities include but are not limited to the following: Using telemetry to track the habitat use of a radio-collared animal, gathering data to construct an ethogram (inventory) of a particular animal’s behavior, using genetic data to determine a healthy mating pair of tigers, scientifically describing prairie dog habitat. The program includes a tour of animals in at Zoo Boise that have benefited from science.

Cycles of Life
Grade 1
Program Theme: All living organisms undergo a "life cycle" that includes birth, development to and surviving as an adult, reproduction and death. Life cycles vary from one organism to another.

Program activities
: Through movement activities and comparing animals biofacts, students will learn the life cycle of one plant and two animal groups then contrast the differnt life cycles to each other. An animal with a unique life cycle will visit the classroom after which students will take a guided tour focussing on life cycles of animals. Tours animals include a mammal(wallaby), a bird, a reptile or amphibian as well as animals or plants that depend on a specific life stage of another animal or plant for survial.

Animal Behavior

Grade: 4th +
Program Theme: Studying animal behavior plays a role in wildlife conservation. The scientific method as well as several data collection methods can be used in studying animal behavior.

Program Activities:
NOTE – Allow at least 90 minutes for this program. Students will review the scientific method, learn to identify behavior, and apply one of two methods of data collection to behavior observations of a zoo animal. Results will be compared and discussed. A math activity to determine statistical significance of their data will be provided.

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Zoo Careers
Grade: 6th +
Program Theme: Many types of jobs are available in a zoo. Some require knowledge of biology and ecology while others do not. All require a passion for animals and wildlife conservation.

Program Activities: In a discussion and zoo tour, students will determine the wide variety of career options within the zoo industry. Specific activities will vary depending on zoo staff available but may include a visit to the zoo kitchen, an animal feeding
, or a training demonstration

Zoo Vet Program
Grade: 3rd+

Dr. Do- a -Lot: Veterinary Medicine at Zoo Boise
Program Theme: The goal of the zoo's veterinarian is to keep wild animals healthy in a
captive environment. This requires a great amount of education, training, and team work.

Program Activities:
Students will meet with Zoo Boise's veterinarian, who will review the education, training, and skills needed to become an exotic animal vet; animal health maintenance programs; public education; and the "typical" day of a zoo veterinarian. A tour of the Animal Health Complex is included, unless animal needs
require the complex to be closed to visitors.
Note: This program has limited availability

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Endangered Species
Grade 3-College
Program Theme: There are several factors that cause animals to become endangered. In addition, some animal species have behavioral or physical characteristics that cause then to be more at risk for becoming endangered species.

Program Activites:
Through examining animal artifacts, visiting exhibits with a zoo guide, playing a "habitat island" game, and meeting an animal, students will explore the factors that cause animals to become endangered, which animals are more at risk for becoming endangered, and how zoos are contributing to protection and preservation of edndangered species.

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Zoos & Conservation
Grade: 6th +
Program Theme: Zoo conservation programs are much more than captive breeding of endangered . Zoos participate in many efforts to support conservation through research, education, and
Zoo Boise’s Conservation Fund raises at least $55,000 per year for conservation projects throughout the world with the help of the Treasure Valley Community.

Program Activities:
Students will discuss their opinions of conservation and how it should be accomplished. Through a zoo tour that visits animal exhibits and other zoo departments, students will discover the variety of efforts and programs through which zoos participate in conservation. Topics of focus will be lab and field research & technology, fair trade consumerism, renewable resources, and education of local and international communities. Lastly, students are introduced to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund and invited to participate in conservation by casting their vote to fund a conservation project.

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