Education Award

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About the Education Award

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums recognizes outstanding achievement in educational program design judging programs on their ability to promote conservation knowledge, attitudes and behavior, show innovation, and measure success.  

Note: Awards will be presented in two categories based on Annual Operating Budget (budgets less than $5 million and budgets of $5 million or more).

New this year is a TIP sheet at the end of the Guidelines with recommendations from former reviewers to assist applicants in developing their submissions.

If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Barbara Pueschel or call 301-244-3326.

How to Submit an Application

Download the Education Award application  (in DOC)

Read the Guidelines for Submission  (in PDF)

Remember to submit a Media Release Form  (in DOC) with your application.

All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF file. Please make sure the file name reflects both the award name and the institution.

AZA has contracted with WEBCARGO to provide a quick and easy way for you to submit your application. Click here to send your application via WEBCARGO.

Past Recipients

To see past recipients' application materials, member log in required.

2015 Winners - Institutional Budget more than $5 million  

Significant Achievement 

Wildlife Conservation Society - Survey of Educator Attitudes on Science


Lincoln Park Zoo - Partners in Field Work

2014 Winners - Institutional Budget more than $5 million  


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Online Resource Library

Significant Achievement

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden for Inspiring Action through Wildlife Encounters

Denver Zoo for Toyota Elephant Passage Education Program

2014 Winners - Institutional Budget less than $5 million  


Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo for Conservation Discovery Corps

Significant Achievement

Miller Park Zoo for Junior Zookeepers

2013 TOP HONORS (institutional budget less than $5 million) 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for Young Scientists Program

2013 TOP HONORS (institutional budget more than $5 million)

Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo for Outside-the-Box Professional Development

2013 Significant Achievement (institutional budget more than $5 million)

Louisville Zoological Gardens for School at the Zoo

2012 TOP HONORS (institutional budget less than $5 million)

Potter Park Zoo for BIG Zoo Lesson 

2012 TOP HONORS (institutional budget more than $5 million)

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for African Elephant Crossing Education Program
Wildlife Conservation Society for Online Teacher Academy 

2012 Significant Achievement (institutional budget more than $5 million)

Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo for Centers of Science Excellence 

2011 Top Honors

Woodland Park Zoo  - Ready, Set, Discover

2011 Significant Achievement

CZS / Brookfield Zoo - Nature Start: Early Childhood Nature Program

Lincoln Park Zoo - Young Researchers Collaborative

2010 Top Honors

Minnesota Zoo - WolfQuest

Wildlife Conservation Society - Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation

2010 Significant Achievement

Detroit Zoological Society - City Critters--An Educational Collaboration

2009 Top Honors

Chicago Zoological - Brookfield Zoo — Levels of Engagement

2009 Significant Achievement

Lincoln Park Zoo — Exploring Ape Behavior

2008 Top Honors

Disney's Animal Kingdom — Continuing the Legacy of Conservation Education in African Sanctuaries

2008 Significant Achievement

Woodland Park Zoo — The Cultural Interpreter Programs

Wildlife Conservation Society — Beyond the Campus

2007 Top Honors

Zoo Atlanta — Academy For Conservation Training

2007 Significant Achievement

Seattle Aquarium — Sound Science

2006 Top Honors

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium — Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater

2005 Top Honors

Bronx Zoo — Girls for Planet Earth

2005 Significant Achievement

Brookfield Zoo — Every Student is a Scientist: Using Technology to Foster Inclusive Learning

2004 Top Honors

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Helping Hands — Teens in Action in the Community

2004 Significant Achievement

Zoo New England — Thinking Outside the Classroom: Zoo New England's Unique Partnership with the Beebe School Program

Philadelphia Zoo — Junior Zoo Apprentice Program

2003 Top Honors

Chicago Zoological Society: To Save a Species — Managing a Captive Population

2003 Significant Achievement

National Aviary — Connecting the Classroom: Educating People About the Wonders of Birds via the World Wide Web

South Carolina Aquarium — Structured School Program

2002 Top Honors

Monterey Bay Aquarium — Splash Zone Education Programs

2002 Significant Achievement

Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservation Society — Wildlife Science Careers Program

Houston Zoological Gardens — Project U.S.A.- Urban: Scientists in Action


Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservation Society — SPARKS (Support Parents in Advocacy, Reform, and Knowledge in Science)

Woodland Park Zoo — Wild Wise


Seattle Aquarium — Beach Naturalist Program

Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservation Society — Congo Gorilla Forest

National Aviary — Red Siskin Program Outreach Program


National Aquarium in Baltimore — Aquarium on Wheels

Oregon Zoo — ZooWatch


Brookfield Zoo — Zoo Adventure Passport


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park — Habitat Ecology Learning Program


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park — Conservation Education in China


Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — The RainForest Connection


San Francisco Zoological Gardens — A Trail With An Attitude


Los Angeles Zoo — Zoo Discovery Kit


Monterey Bay Aquarium — Live from Monterey Canyon


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park — Zoos for Effective Science Teaching


Oregon Zoo — Project S.A.F.E.


National Aquarium in Baltimore — Living in Water


San Diego Zoo — Kopje Exhibit Interpretive Program


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park — Diversity of Lifestyles

Philadelphia Zoological Garden — ZooWalk Summer Theater


Cincinnati Zoo — A Future in the World

Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens — Exploring the Tropical Rainforest

San Francisco Zoological Society — Monroe School Zoomobile Project


Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens — Preschool Education Program

National Zoological Park — Herplab

Sea World of California — Sea World Outreach Program


Cincinnati Zoo — Animal & Environmental Learning Experiences and Zoo, Zoo, Zoo


Cincinnati Zoo — Frisch's Discovery Center

Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens — Hands On Zoo

National Aquarium in Baltimore — Outreach Program in Marine and Aquatic Education


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park — Close-up on Animals for Exceptional Children

Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens — Dinosaurs, Dodos and You


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park — Windows of Wildlife

Fort Worth Zoological Park — A Place for Life

Minnesota Zoological Garden — Institutional Commitment

Oregon Zoo — Creepy Crawler Zoomobile


National Zoological Park — Zoolab

Phoenix Zoo — Zoomobile

Sea World of Ohio — Interworlds: Elementary Age

The Seattle Aquarium — Institutional Commitment

Sedgwick County Zoo — Teacher Project


Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum — Mexican Environmental Program

Oregon Zoo — Zoo Days

John G. Shedd Aquarium — Lake Michigan Education Program

Zoo Atlanta — Public Awareness of Reptile Conservation Program