Noticed a bunch of very observant students with clipboards near the animal exhibits at the Indianapolis Zoo recently? Well if you have, you’ve probably seen some of our Science Investigators who are taking part in our Science Investigator workshops for school groups that the Zoo launched this spring.
The workshops at the Hix Institute for Education are geared toward pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade students and help motivate them to investigate and observe animals to gain a better understanding of science.
“The workshops give kids the opportunity to think like scientists,” said instructor Desiree Brandon.
The titles include Butterfly Builders, Polar Plunge, Tropical Topple and Designing a Habitat, and workshops incorporate some of the large games, like the Polar Bear Plunge, that are often found at the Zoo’s Conservation Stations.
“Games are an important part of the workshops. In addition to the animal observations, the games serve as culminating activities that help tie all the concepts together while teaching a conservation message,” said Program Development and Evaluation Specialist Tolly Foster, who also developed the workshops.
All of the teachers who participated in the workshops with their students have noted that they would take part in another workshop if the opportunity arises. One teacher who participated in the Designing a Habitat workshop commented, “I loved the animal card activity! The kids had to problem solve and think critically to figure out what each animal would need in their habitat.”
With such a great start to the program, you may be seeing a lot more young scientists out and about on Indianapolis Zoo grounds!
Interested in adding one of the Zoo’s workshops during an upcoming field trip? The Indianapolis Zoo currently offers these workshops Monday through Thursday during the school year. Each program costs $75 for a class of up to 30 students. The classes run for 45 minutes, beginning on the hour. To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 630-2180 from 9am-3pm Monday through Friday.