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Expedition Zoo to You

Expedition Zoo To You

Looking for something “wild” to add to your classroom curriculum? Learning from home and looking for a way to connect with wildlife? Wish you could take a field trip, but current circumstances prevent it? Utah’s Hogle Zoo is now offering virtual field trips, where we bring the zoo to you! Spend time with our seasoned and energetic educators as we meet animals, participate in interactive activities, and learn about nature in a fun and engaging way. Perfect for classrooms, families, scouts, youth groups, daycares, or anyone else interested in taking a field trip to the zoo using the magic of the internet. Our variety of programs feature different animals and life science concepts, and are geared towards specific age groups, even touching on Utah’s core standards, but all programs can be modified for any age group.

Have something specific in mind but don’t see it listed? We may even be able to develop a new program just for you – just let us know what you’re group is learning about, and talk with our educators about potential program options. We love sharing our knowledge about our zoo animals, so we’re able to cover a wide variety of animals and biology concepts. Let us know the details of your group when you book, and we’ll tailor a program to meet your group’s interests! No two field trips are ever the same!

Each field trip program is 30-45 minutes in length (though we can adjust to fit your needs – ask during booking), and includes insider zoo information from our knowledgeable zoo staff, interactive activities, and dedicated Q&A time.

Pricing: $75 for one class or $50 each when booking multiple classes. Classes are a 30-45 minute program. Longer programs available at additional cost – ask during booking.

Times available: Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9am and 6pm- Include desired time in booking email. Times are first come first serve and depend on animal, equipment, and educator availability. We will try to accommodate your top choice for time, but please include alternative potential dates/times in your booking email.)

Group Sizes: We will be connecting with your group via Webex (a program similar to Zoom or Skype). Program cost covers up to 30 participants across up to 20 connected devices. Larger groups can be accommodated at additional cost –ask during booking.

Booking instructions: email Hayley (hparkinson@hoglezoo.org) to book a program for your group. Please include your group size, program selection, desired date and time of program (please include a second choice if your first option is unavailable), any special requests/accommodations, and any questions you may have.


Programs Available:

Cookin’ for Critters

Join us in the zoo kitchen to learn about how we prepare food for the zoo animals. Each animal has a specific diet chosen for them by our head vet and nutritionist, Dr. Nancy, and then it’s up to keepers, diet techs, and volunteers (aka zoo chefs) to prepare each diet to perfection. Follow along for a tour of the commissary, a guide to making fruit bat skewers, and even a take – home recipe for a whacky fruit bat salad to try out at home! Plus, we’ll even get to watch the bats enjoy their dinner. Along the way, we talk about animal diets, carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, and why food is such an important part of health – for you and for animals!

Topics covered: Herbivore/Carnivore/Omnivore, Zoo Jobs, Animal nutrition

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: 5.3.1 (animals obtain energy and matter from food)

Recommended Ages: Any


Bug Jobs

You may think bugs are gross, but they have important jobs to do! Learn all about them as you train to be a bug guidance counselor. Through live bugs and biofacts, we’ll meet with four career representatives – bugs that represent the important jobs bugs do in their ecosystems; pollinator, decomposer, predator, and food source. They’ll tell us all about what it takes to work in their field. Then we’ll review the resumes of other buggy hopefuls, learning about their skills so that we can help sort them into their jobs. This play-along sorting game is great for kids grade 2-6 (age 7-11), fans of creepy-crawlies, or anyone who enjoys taking a closer look at the very small natural world all around us.

Topics Covered: Animal Adaptations, Ecosystem Roles, Decomposers, Pollinators, Predator, Prey

Recommended Ages: 7-11

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: K.2.4 (survival solutions), K.2.3 (Living things change their surroundings to survive) 2.2.2 (structure and function of adaptations for survival), 2.2.3 (animals as pollinators and seed dispersers), 4.1.1 (structures support survival), 5.3.3 (Food chains and energy flow), 6.4.3 (modeling energy flow)


The Savana Stretch

Make sure you have plenty of room to move and groove in this follow –along exercise activity for students of all ages. Animals move in unique and fascinating ways, and we love to copy them! In this program, we’ll observe footage of animal movements, learn more about the animals of the African Savanna, and get stretched out with some yoga poses and simple exercises inspired by our animal friends.

Topics Covered: Animal movements, animal adaptation

Recommended Ages: 4+

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: K.2.2 (animals live in places that meet their needs), 1.2.2 (Patterns of shared adaptations), 2.2.1 (Patterns of shared adaptations), 2.2.2 (structure and function of adaptations for survival), 3.3.5 (adaptations are specific to habitats), 4.1.1 (structures support survival), 6.4.1 (patterns of ecosystem interactions)

Draw your Attention- The Polar Bear Stare

In this follow-along drawing activity, we’ll learn about how careful observation helps us to draw, and learn about the natural world. Scientists and artists use very similar skills when observing animals. Watch some footage of polar bears in action, learn more about their bone structure and fur by observing biofacts, explore how understanding form and function of an animal’s body parts helps us to draw them better, and learn more about how observing animals helps us to protect them in the wild by learning about UHZ’s polar bear conservation efforts- all while following along on a simple sketch of a bear. By the end of the program, you’ll have a better understanding of bears, and a beautiful drawing of one!

Topics Covered: Adaptations for survival, Form and Function, Polar Bears, Conservation

Recommended Ages: 7-15

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: K.2.2 (relationships between animals and their habitats), 1.2.2 (Patterns of shared adaptations), 1.2.4 (Behaviors of parents and offspring), 2.2.1 (patterns of living things in habitats), 2.2.2 (structure and function of adaptations), 2.2.4 (mimicking adaptations), 3.3.5 (adaptations are specific to habitats), 4.1.1 (structures support survival)


Drumming up Interest in Elephants

Feeling musical? Fall into the rhythm of the African Savanna in this drumming activity designed to teach students about how the parts of an ecosystem work together, and how every part of that system- land features, weather conditions, plants, and animals, contributes to a cohesive whole, just like different instruments in a piece of music!  We’ll learn about how elephants are a keystone species- an important drumbeat in the symphony of the savanna, as well as highlighting UHZ’s conservation efforts with elephants to show how humans are finding ways to be part of the ecosystem and live in harmony with the animals around them. Drum along on your desk, clap, snap, hum and dance as we make music and learn together – no instruments required!

Topics Covered: Ecosystems, Keystone Species, Habitat needs, Human-nature interactions, and conservation efforts

Recommended Ages: 4-9

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: K.2.1 (animals depend on other living things), K.2.3 (Living things change their surroundings) 2.2.3 (modeling seed dispersal), 3.3.5 (adaptations are specific to habitats), 5.3.3 (food chains and energy flow), 6.4.1 (patterns of ecosystem interactions)


Who wants to be a Pinniped?

What animals seem like they were designed to be dogs for mermaids? Is that your final answer? Gear up your brains for this game-show style program featuring everyone’s favorite mermaid-puppies, the seals and sea lions! Learn about the adaptations that make them perfectly suited for living on rocky coastlines. Plus, learn about how humans mimic animal adaptations, even when we are caring for our pinnipeds here at the zoo!

Topics Covered: Animal adaptations, seals and sea lions, animals and their habitats

Recommended Age: 5-10

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: K.2.2 (relationships between animals and their habitats), 1.2.2 (patterns of adaptations, similar habitats =similar adaptations), 2.2.1 (patterns of living things in given habitats), 2.2.2 (Structure and function of animal adaptations), 2.2.4 (Design a solution to a human problem by mimicking animal adaptations), 3.3.5 (adaptations are specific to habitats), 4.1.1 (structures support survival)


Meet the Animals

Get an up close encounter with some of UHZ’s smallest residents as we meet 3 of our ambassador animals in our most versatile program. Our small animals include invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and some mammals. Because our Ambassador Animals choose whether or not to participate in programming, we can’t promise specific animals, but we will try to fit your desired topic as closely as possible.

Topics Covered: Any

Recommended Age: Any

Possible Core Standards Tie-in: Any

    • MEET OUR ANIMALS

    • ZOO MEMBERSHIPS

    • GROUP PARTIES

    • EDUCATION