The AZA Conservation Education
Committee (CEC) has compiled thematic educational activities that have been
developed by educators at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. These resources
focus on topics of conservation concern and are designed to provide ideas
and inspiration for AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium education program or
summer camp development and to assist with their planning for special AZA
annual conservation initiatives.
The AZA Conservation Education Committee, Amphibian Taxonomic
Advisory Group, and a Year of the Frog Task Force have developed a
variety of activities to raise awareness about amphibian declines and
engage the public in their conservation efforts. These resources, some
of which are presented in Spanish and at different difficulty levels,
are meant to be used and adapted (please keep the AZA logo intact), as
appropriate, for amphibian-themed educational efforts. Read more about
Amphibian Education Activities.
The United Nations (UNEP) declared 2012 as International
Year of the Bat (YOTB) and zoos and aquariums joined the celebration and
continue to raise awareness of bats and engage the public in their
Conservation International developed an Events Suitcase, containing the
following downloadable activities. More information and materials are
available from www.batcon.org/aza.
Live Webcast from Bracken Bat Cave
A live electronic
field trip was held on September 18, 2012, at the Bracken Bat Cave near San
Antonio, Texas, which is the summer home of the world's largest bat colony.
Watch millions of bats emerge from the cave at BatsLIVE: A Distance Learning
Polar Bears International
(PBI), an AZA Conservation Partner, is happy to share a plethora of
resources on a range of topics that support national literacy standards
and learning outcomes for specific school districts. Apple
Learning Interchange programs, which include educator created lessons
and activities rich with movies, images, webcast archives, expert
videos, and challenge-based and inter-disciplinary lessons, include:
Professional polar bear and AZA scientist interview videos, which address a range of topics about polar bears, sea ice, and climate change are available for download by contacting PBI. These include:
Additional polar bear and arctic habitat educational materials, created by teachers and zoo educators, include:
The AZA Elephant Taxon Advisory Group and Species Survival Plan® Program identified
several topics about elephant ecology, behavior, and the ways in which
AZA-accredited zoos care for them are raised. Several supporting
statements are provided for each topic to promote consistent messaging. Download the Elephant Messages (pdf).
An extensive Matrix
of Ecological Footprint Education Resources (pdf) and a variety of related
education activities have been developed to help raise awareness about
ecological footprints and engage the public in their reduction efforts.
Education activities relating to Why Wild Animals
Do Not Make Good Pets have been developed to help raise awareness about the
complex behavioral, social, physical, nutritional, health care, and
psychological needs wild animals possess and to encourage the public to select
PetWatch is an online resource modeled after the Monterey
Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program that provides consumers with a
science-based list of the Best, Fair and Worst choices of exotic pets based
on extensive research aimed at protecting native wildlife and resources,
global biodiversity and public health. Check out the Switzer Network News video for more information.
to check out howtosmile.org – a new Web portal created by
UC-Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science and funded by the National Science
Foundation. Howtosmile.org serves educators and others who teach
school-aged children in museum-based programs, zoos, aquaria,
planetariums, libraries, science festivals, camps, clubs and homes. Howtosmile.org includes thousands of freely
accessible online interactive activities that include lesson plans,
field trips, how-to videos, and online games. Users can narrow search
results by age range, subject area, resource type, material costs,
learning time, and source institution. You can earn badges and points for
participating. Sign up for the newsletter and keep up via the howtosmile.org
blog and on Facebook.