Expedition Zoo to You

Expedition Zoo To You

Virtual Field Trips at UHZ

Are you looking for something “wild” to add to your classroom curriculum? Learning from home and looking for a way to connect with wildlife? Do you 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 geared towards specific age groups and address appropriate Utah SEEd standards. However, our offerings are adjustable to any age group.

If you 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!

Important Information:

Each field trip program lasts 30-45 minutes in length (although we can adjust the program 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 a 30-45 minute program. More extended programs are available at additional cost – ask during booking

Times available: Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9 am and 6 pm

Please include your desired time in your 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 the 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). The 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: To book a program, email hparkinson@hoglezoo.org). In the email include:

  • Your group size,
  • Program selection,
  • Desired date and time of your program (please include a second choice in case your first option is unavailable),
  • Any special requests/accommodations, along with any questions you may have.

Available Program Topics:

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. Carpenter, DVM, 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 a take-home recipe for a whacky fruit bat salad to try out at home! Plus, we’ll watch the bats enjoy their dinner. Along the way, we’ll discuss animal diets, carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores, and why the right diet is such an essential part of health – for you and our animals!

  • Topics covered: Herbivore/Carnivore/Omnivore, Zoo Jobs, Animal nutrition
  • Core Standards Tie-in: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. We’ll meet with four career representatives through live insects and biofacts. These bug ambassadors represent the essential 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 excellent for kids grades 2-6 (age 7-11), fans of creepy-crawlies, or anyone who enjoys taking a closer look at the tiny natural world all around us.

  • Topics Covered: Animal Adaptations, Ecosystem Roles, Decomposers, Pollinators, Predator, Prey
  • Recommended Ages: 7-11
  • Core Standards Tie-in: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 exercise activity for students of all ages. Animals move in unique and fascinating ways, and we love to copy them! We’ll observe footage of animal movements, learn more about the African Savanna’s animals, 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+
  • Core Standards Tie-in: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 to the Polar Bear Stare

Students will learn how careful observation helps us learn about the natural world during this drawing activity. Scientists and artists use very similar skills when observing animals.

During the program, students  will:

  • Watch footage of polar bears in action,
  • Learn more about bear bone structure and fur by observing biofacts, explore polar bear form and function, discover how observation helps an artist to draw more accurately, and create a simple sketch of a bear.
  • Topics Covered: Adaptations for survival, Form and Function, Polar Bears, Conservation
  • Recommended Ages: 7-15
  • Core Standards Tie-in: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

Are you 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!

Students will discover how elephants are a keystone species- an essential drumbeat in the savanna symphony and highlighting the Zoo’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
  • Core Standards Tie-in: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?

Which animals seem to have been designed as dogs for mermaids? Is that your final answer? Gear-up your student’s brains for this game-show style program featuring everyone’s favorite mermaid-puppies, the seals, and sea lions! Discover the adaptations that make them perfectly suited for living on rocky coastlines. Plus, explore how humans mimic animal adaptations, including here at the Zoo!

  • Topics Covered: Animal adaptations, seals and sea lions, animals and their habitats
  • Recommended Age: 5-10
  • Core Standards Tie-in: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)

Ambassador Animal Meet-Up

Get an up-close virtual look at some of the Zoo’s smallest residents. Your students will meet three of our ambassador animals and learn about their adaptations and role in their ecosystem.    Our program animals include invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and some mammals. Because the  Ambassador Animals choose whether to participate in programming, we can’t promise specific animals. Still, we will try to fit the animals to your desired topic as closely as possible.

  • Topics Covered: Any
  • Recommended Age: Any
  • Possible Core Standards Tie-in: Any