wildlife conservation society
Learning is an adventure when you choose one of Queens Zoo’s education programs. We offer a wide range of programs to enhance science curricula, educate and inspire diverse communities so they come to appreciate the wonders of wildlife and wild places of the Americas.
Download the Queens Zoo Education Brochure.
Programs for Pre-K
Your students’ animal alphabet adventure will begin with a rousing rendition of the alphabet song then continue with close-up visits from a tantalizing turtle and other amazing animals. These animal alphabet friends will help early learners recognize, identify, and write letters to solve wildlife word puzzles. From antelopes to widgeons, your students will discover a living alphabet at his or her fingertips.
How much does a zookeeper need to feed the animals? How much does an bison weigh? This zoo experience will surely add up to great fun for your students as they explore the amazing variety of animal life while practicing their math skills. Through up-close meetings with animals and storytelling, this program will reinforce students’ recognition of numerals and help them examine the different relationships among numbers.
K to 2nd Grade
Size and Shape
Elephants are enormous and squirrels are small. Some animals are long and thin while others are round like a ball. Through small group work and in-class visits with animals, students will compare and contrast sizes and shapes and recognize these as adaptations that help an animal to survive. Science based activities also support English language art and math skills when exploring measurement as well as how animals grow and change.
Animal Survival Needs
In this program, students will explore what a habitat is and identify the living and non-living parts. Students will recognize what animals need to get from their habitat to survive and how they get it. From a snake’s tongue to an owl’s ears, up-close observations of animals in the classroom along with visits to zoo exhibits will allow students to compare the similarities and differences among animal senses.
1st to 3rd Grade
From feathers and beaks to eggs and nests, students will learn about the major characteristics of birds. After examining different types of feathers to determine their functions, students will partake in a round of Birds Fly… Why Can’t I? Visits to zoo exhibits and in-class observations of a couple of fine feathered friends.
Your students will experience a fun-filled program devoted entirely to our fellow mammals. Students will begin this program by sorting photos that demonstrate the amazing diversity of mammals. After that, students will explore Mammal Clue Kits to discover the unique characteristics of mammals and learn what sets them apart from other classes of animals. Up-close encounters with some furry friends along with visits to zoo exhibits make this program an excellent learning opportunity.
3rd to 5th Grade
What are the major causes of wildlife endangerment and extinction? How have people changed the natural world over time? In this program, students will learn the answers to these questions by investigating Threats to Wildlife Boxes and visiting the zoo’s exhibits. Students will discuss issues involved with the development or protection of wildlife areas and leave this program with an understanding of conservation actions they can do everyday.
Discover the variety of habitats at the Zoo. From field to forest, and prairie to pine woodlands, students will explore the characteristics of these ecosystems and some of the animals that live in them. Through observations of animals up close and a study of habitat study boxes students will learn how these habitats provide for their animal residents and how humans affect and help maintain the wilds of the Americas.
6th to 8th Grade
How much does a bison eat? Do the Andean Bears really eat fruit? Students will study the differences between omnivores, carnivores and herbivores at the Zoo. They will learn how keepers handle the dietary needs for the animals by studying various animal diets, observations of animals at exhibits and a behind the scenes look at how foods are prepared at the Zoo.
Zoos spend a great deal of time providing their animals with behavioral enrichment. Learn about the different foods, toys, and activities that the keepers give to the animals daily that enhance their physical and mental well-being.. Through observations and the use of ethograms, students will learn how these things positively affect an animal behavior.
Through studies of animals in the Zoo, students will learn how important it is to provide enriching experiences for the animals in our care. Students will prepare items that can be used to enrich particular animal exhibits and then using an ethogram they will study the effect of those items before and after they are introduced. This is an in-depth opportunity or students to see how Zoo keepers are involved in caring for out animal collection.
There is an amazing diversity of wildlife careers to be found in a modern zoo. In this program, students will take an inside look at exciting opportunities they may never have thought of - field biologists, veterinarians, zookeepers, exhibit designers, and even wildlife photographers. Students will meet animals and visit naturalistic exhibits to explore the multitude of careers involved in the care and conservation of animals.
All programs are 60 minutes in length. Due to their great popularity, Education Department programs are scheduled well in advance. We recommend that you contact the Education Department as early as possible to schedule a program. In some cases, space may be available on shorter notice.
September through March - $200 for the first class and $100 for each additional class on the same day.
April through June - $200 per class
Fees include Zoo admission for each class and one adult for every five children, including teachers and school staff. Scheduled programs must be pre-paid by the school or district. Payment can be made by check, credit card or school purchase order. Under no circumstances will classes be offered without full payment or purchase order.
In addition to our curriculum based programs, the Queens Zoo offers guided tours lead by our trained Wildlife Guides. Tours last about 90 minutes and include an overview of all of the animal exhibits. The fee for a tour is $175 per class. For more information call 718-271-7361.
The Queens Zoo offers quality community outreach programs serving children and teens at schools, parks, childcare centers, and after-school programs located in the borough of Queens. Outreach programs are offered as a two-part program, including an off-site presentation with a follow-up visit to the Zoo. For multiple sessions or to develop customized outreach programs for your group, please contact us at 718-271-7045.
Fee: $350 for one class; $200 for each additional class. Fee includes admission to the Zoo for the follow-up trip.
School Reservations and Information
- To make a reservation, please call the Education Department at 718-271-7361, Monday through Friday, between 9:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. Reservations for school programs are handled by phone only at this time.
- Maximum program class size is 35 students for 1st grade and up and 25 students for Pre-K and Kindergarten. Schools are not allowed to combine classes to reach a class size of 35 students. One adult for every ten students is required, with a maximum of one adult for every five children.
- We welcome students with special needs. Please be sure to mention special needs or disabilities when registering so that we can place your class in a wheelchair-accessible classroom. We require one adult for every two students in special education classes (maximum class size of 12 students).
- A confirmation letter with program information, including session dates, times, and classroom locations, will be sent to you. Present this letter at the front entrance gate to the Zoo on the date(s) of the scheduled session(s). Instructors will meet you at this gate to bring you to the appropriate classroom for your program.
All cancellations must be received by the Queens Zoo Education Department in writing, by mail or FAX (718-271-4441). Cancellations made at least 4 weeks in advance will receive a 50 percent refund. There are no refunds for programs cancelled less than four weeks prior to the scheduled date of program. Please note that any request to reschedule your class is equivalent to a cancellation.
Due to a very full schedule, programs will not be extended for late-arriving groups beyond the scheduled end time. Staff will make every attempt to cover as much material as possible in the time available. Please obtain information on how to locate the Zoo in advance of your trip. Directions to the Zoo and a copy of the Zoo Map are available online at www.queenszoo.com.
All programs are held as scheduled (regardless of weather) unless field trips are cancelled by the Chancellor’s office. Please encourage your class to dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Attempts to reschedule your classes will be made at the earliest available date but cannot be guaranteed.
Queens Zoo Admission Policy for Visits Only
All schools not participating in an Education Department program do not need to pre-register your group visit. Payment can be made in cash, personal or school check on the day of your trip. For additional information contact the Registrar at 718-271-7361.