Wild Science Academy lets you explore the world of science with the Zoo as your classroom! These affordable and educational two-hour classes teach science through animal interactions, behind-the-scenes experiences, laboratory investigations, group projects, Zoo hikes and other inquiry-based learning activities. Designed for home school students, but open to all, Wild Science Academy is perfect for any young student with a desire to learn more about the science of zoos. Each class is also developed using Arizona Science Standards. 

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November:  Dinosaurs in the Desert

Dinosaurs have returned from extinction and are invading the Phoenix Zoo! In this special class to celebrate the larger-than-life exhibit opening at the Zoo this fall, junior and senior Wild Scientists will study the surprising relatives of dinosaurs that are still thriving in today’s world. Plus, we’ll take an unforgettable journey along the Desert Lives Trail for a special guided tour of the Dinosaurs in the Desert exhibit!

December: History of Zoos

If you love the Phoenix Zoo, this is the class for you! Zoos have existed for thousands of years showcasing animals from the far reaches of the world. In the past, zoos were mostly a way for wealthy or royal families to display how powerful they were. Now, however, zoos are for everyone! Most importantly, zoos are centers of conservation and safe spaces for animals. In this class, we’ll examine the various methods of behavioral enrichment that keeps our animals happy and healthy.

January: CSI:  Critter Scene Investigators

A series of crimes have occurred at the Zoo! Students in this special CSI class will help us identify the culprits in an assortment of animal mysteries including, “The Case of the Vanishing Frogs” and “Who Stole the Ferrets?” Each mystery will reveal a new clue in how the Zoo works to protect native species.

February: Genetics
Exactly what are genes? In this class, we’ll learn the basics of genetics to determine what makes you, you. Students will discover how cells work and the vital role DNA plays in everything from our hair color to adaptations that help animals survive. To wrap up our genetics lesson, we’ll swing by the habitats of a few of the Zoo’s larger animals to see firsthand how genetics helps species thrive.
March: Geography & Species

Wait, that animal lives where? In this class, students will learn the basics of charting and plotting to discover how field scientists use maps to protect hundreds of different species. We’ll also apply mapping technology to conduct our own species investigation to discover one of Africa’s most endangered species living right here at the Zoo.

April: Micro-Critters

The Phoenix Zoo is a great place to see enormous animals from all over the world, but what about the creatures living right under your nose? Students will use microscopes to zoom in on the versatile scales on a snake and the intricacies of a butterfly’s wings. Then we’ll get even smaller as we examine water samples to see the tiny organisms that play a major role in our water ecosystems.  

May: Vet Science

How do zookeepers and staff ensure each and every one of the Zoo’s animals stay healthy? Let’s dive into the basic needs for life while investigating different needs for individual species. We’ll also use creative problem solving to diagnose animal ailments and potential ways to care for various species. Students will be treated to a special tour of the Zoo’s Animal Care Center to see how awesome our veterinary staff is!

3 month package deal
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September 20, October 11, and November 8
December 13, January 17, and Feburary 21
March 21, April 18, and May 16