Education Award

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. 

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 (DOC)
Guidelines for Submission (PDF)
Remember to submit a Media Release Form (DOC) with your application.

All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF. 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. Send your application via Webcargo.

Past Recipients

See past recipients' application materials (member log in required)


Top Honors - institutional budget more than $5 million
Lincoln Park Zoo - Partners in Field Work

Significant Achievement - institutional budget more than $5 million
Wildlife Conservation Society - Survey of Educator Attitudes on Science


Top Honors - institutional budget more than $5 million
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Online Resource Library

Significant Achievement - institutional budget more than $5 million

  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden for Inspiring Action through Wildlife Encounters
  • Denver Zoo for Toyota Elephant Passage Education Program

Top Honors - institutional budget less than $5 million
Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo for Conservation Discovery Corps

Significant Achievement - institutional budget less than $5 million
Miller Park Zoo for Junior Zookeepers


Top Honors - institutional budget less than $5 million
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for Young Scientists Program

Top Honors - institutional budget more than $5 million
Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo for Outside-the-Box Professional Development

Significant Achievement - institutional budget more than $5 million
Louisville Zoological Gardens for School at the Zoo


Top Honors - institutional budget less than $5 million
Potter Park Zoo for BIG Zoo Lesson

Top Honors - institutional budget more than $5 million
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for African Elephant Crossing Education Program
Wildlife Conservation Society for Online Teacher Academy

Significant Achievement - institutional budget more than $5 million
Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo for Centers of Science Excellence


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


Top Honors

  • Minnesota Zoo - WolfQuest
  • Wildlife Conservation Society - Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation

Significant Achievement
Detroit Zoological Society - City Critters--An Educational Collaboration


Top Honors
Chicago Zoological - Brookfield Zoo — Levels of Engagement

Significant Achievement
Lincoln Park Zoo — Exploring Ape Behavior


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

Significant Achievement

  • Woodland Park Zoo — The Cultural Interpreter Programs
  • Wildlife Conservation Society — Beyond the Campus


Top Honors
Zoo Atlanta — Academy For Conservation Training

Significant Achievement
Seattle Aquarium — Sound Science


Top Honors
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium — Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater


Top Honors
Bronx Zoo — Girls for Planet Earth

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


Top Honors
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Helping Hands — Teens in Action in the Community

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


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

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


Top Honors
Monterey Bay Aquarium — Splash Zone Education Programs

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

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