Zoo School and The Urban Farm

The Cause

What better place is there to learn about animal lifecycles, needs of living things, perspectives and being a global citizen than with the animals and staff of the Zoo?

For a full week, students will get to observe, question, learn and discover using all the resources that the Zoo has to offer through a program called Zoo School.

Zoo School gives teachers the opportunity to make the zoo their classroom for a whole week. Together with the Zoo School Coordinator, they can plan their week and customize it so that it meets all of the desired curricular objectives of their grade. They will design a week full of demonstrations, hands-on animal encounters, behind the scenes tours, guest speakers and special presentations. Students will be journaling, observing, sketching, hearing, smelling, touching and questioning all week long. Every day promises new experiences and new discoveries.

Imagine spending science class observing the squirrel monkeys, math class measuring the lemur enclosure and language arts class describing what an armadillo feels like. Social class might involve a discussion about the role of zoos with the zoo’s operation supervisor. For art class, how about watching an elephant paint? For health or food studies, they’ll get their hands dirty in the Urban Farm to learn about Alberta’s rich agricultural history and how people & food sources work. These are just some of the ways students will spend their days at Zoo School.

In addition to fully funding five (5) schools to attend Zoo School, a portion of the contribution will support the creation of an Urban Farm at the Zoo. For the majority of urban children, a visit to our zoo will be the only time they will ever have an experience on a farm. There is a vital connection between people and food sources that is particularly important today as this connection is being eroded in an increasingly urban culture. The Urban Farm will work to revitalize this relationship and educate through interpretation and playful ‘touch and feel’ environments.

Children are fascinated by the natural world, especially by animals. By providing them with a fun setting in which they can learn about global biodiversity, we can create lifelong ambassadors for the long-term health of all species. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is committed to making Edmonton a better place for its visitors and residents, and aspires to be a global leader in education and conservation.

Who Will it Benefit?

Zoo School is available to sixteen (16) classes each year. Grades 1–12 from Edmonton and the surrounding area can take part in this experience that could be their most memorable learning experience ever. This contribution will fully fund five (5) deserving classes to attend one (1) week of Zoo School each.

With over 400,000 visitors to the Edmonton Valley Zoo each year, the Urban Farm will reach a large, diverse group of children & adults of all ages and abilities from Edmonton and around the world. Of that total amount, just over 47,000 students from schools in Edmonton, Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan will participate in either drop-in or scheduled educational programming every year.