ZooSchool programs offer students the opportunity to engage with zoo education staff, participate in an interactive activity and observe live animals first-hand.

Enhance student learning with one of our new ZooSchool programs, available at the zoo and at schools across the Portland metropolitan area. All programs include an interactive presentation by zoo education staff, hands-on activities and live animals. A list of appropriate pre- and post-visit activities accompanies each program. Lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Oregon Social Studies Standards. Maximum group size per session is 32 students.

ZooSchool fees do not include zoo admission. Students and chaperones attending a ZooSchool presentation at the zoo will still need admission tickets. ZooSchool is a separate purchase from school group zoo admission.



Critter Coverings

Feathers for flying, scales for slithering, fur for fluffing. Use your scientific observation skills to discover how animals use their body coverings to survive. Includes three live animals, at least one touchable.


There's No Place Like Home

Food, water, shelter, space – Explore through song, live animals and an interactive felt board what all animals need in their habitat to live and raise young. Learn how to care for the environment to keep our wildlife friends happy and healthy. Includes two live animals, at  least one touchable.

1st grade

Winter Warriors

Brrr… it’s cold outside! Compare how different animals adapt to seasonal changes in weather.  Take a virtual climb to the top of Mt. Hood to discover how pikas are impacted by warming temperatures and how you can help the Oregon Zoo protect them.  Includes two live animals, at  least one touchable.

2nd grade

Critter Communities

It takes a village to thrive. Learn the importance of diversity in making healthy communities for both plants and animals. Make seed paper out of elephant poop to create a simple flower community kids can take home. Includes two live animals, at least one touchable.

3rd grade

Just Grow Up!

Examine the fascinating life cycles of some amazing animals. Play an interactive game to discover how the Oregon Zoo is using information about an animal’s life cycle to protect the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly.   Includes two live animals, at least one touchable.

4th Grade

Adaptation Artistry

Dress up like an Oregon spotted frog to explore how animals are adapted to their habitat. Discover why habitat loss is impacting animals like the spotted frog and learn how you can help them recover. Includes two live animals, at least one touchable.

5th Grade

What's for Lunch?

Create a food web to examine how animals rely on one another for survival. Discover what happens to an ecosystem when an animal in a food web disappears and learn to take action for wildlife. Includes two live animals, at least one touchable. 

6th–12th Grade

Animal Training 101

Caring for zoo animals involves more than just scooping poop. Learn how zookeepers train animals to participate in their care, keeping their bodies healthy and their minds active. Includes an opportunity for students to practice training techniques. Includes three animals, at least one touchable.

NEW! Animal Nutrition 101

What does it take to keep a zoo animals well-fed? Discover how zookeepers prepare a nutritionally complete diet for animals in their care in this interactive simulation. Includes two live animals, at least one of which is touchable. (Note: This program involves the consumption of food by students. Nuts will not be served.)

NEW! So You Want to be a Zookeeper

Maintaining the health and welfare of animals in human care involves more than just feeding and cleaning. Join a former zookeeper on a visit to our award winning Elephant Lands exhibit and explore the important role keepers play in designing exhibits, creating behavioral enrichment activities, and crafting healthy diets. Learn about the educational requirements and animal handling experience needed for a career in zookeeping. This 45 minute program is only available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Maximum group size per session is 16 students.
Cost; $90 per group of 16 students

Cost per group

Fee for ZooSchool programs at the zoo does not include zoo admission. Maximum group size per session is 32 students. See cost schedule here.

Register for ZooSchool

ZooSchool programs are available from October to mid-June. Two weeks advance booking is required.

Please note that ZooSchool is a separate purchase from school group zoo admission. ZooSchool presentations at the zoo still require the purchase of admission tickets. Reserve your field trip and admission tickets at www.oregonzoo.org.

Tracy Modde