Students in middle school and high school can become a part of the Zoo’s research team in the KidScience program, take classes through Zoo U., learn what it means to be a zookeeper through Keeper Interactions, or volunteer with the Zoo through the summer Zoo Teens program. Explore the tabs below to learn more about each exciting program.
KidScience is FULL for the 2016-2017 school year. We will begin accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year in Spring 2017.
Read about KidScience in a PBS NOVA Science Education Article
KidScience is a year-long program designed to introduce middle school students to methods and principles related to conservation biology. KidScience students become part of the Zoo's research team, and get hands-on experience doing real animal behavior research. Through this program, students gain an understanding of research methods and skills, cooperation, teamwork, environmental stewardship, and are exposed to animal- and science-related careers. Activities include classroom lessons, data collection and analysis, behind-the-scenes tours, research projects, and animal encounters. KidScience activities also meet many of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards as well as the National Science Education Standards.
Students who will be in grades 6, 7, or 8 in October may apply. As KidScience is designed to be a two-year program, most students return the following year.
Classes are held every other Saturday throughout the school year (October through May), followed by a three week summer session. Classes are four hours long and can be attended in a morning session from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. or an afternoon session from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Annual tuition is $555 for Members and $695 for non-members. A limited number of scholarships are available to those who qualify. Click here to download a scholarship application.
To apply, please download a KidScience application and a reference form. The application will need to be accompanied by a one-page essay (further instructions are available on the form). Two references are needed, so the reference form will needed to be printed and completed twice. Once completed, please mail these forms to:
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Attn: KidScience Coordinator
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Applicants will be contacted in the summer, once all application materials are received, to set up a personal interview with the KidScience Coordinator. Sorry, online registration is not available for the KidScience program.
For more information, please contact email@example.com or 412-365-2567.
KidScience students also receive two Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium KidScience T-shirts, discounts at all Zoo restaurants and gift shops, 10 free Zoo passes for family and friends, and free admission during regular Zoo hours.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-365-2567.
Course Offerings for Spring 2017:
The Biology of Behavior
Biological processes shape the way animals experience the world. Substances as miniscule as genes and chemicals can influence behavior and interactions between individuals. This course will examine how biological materials, from parts of the brain to nutrition, affect behavior. Additionally, students will learn how hormones and biological clocks impact an animal's behavior. Students with an eye toward veterinary medicine may have a particular interest in this course.
Click Below for Online Registration:
Rodents are more than just mice and rats. Take a comprehensive look into the order Rodentia, the single largest group of mammals. Through class activities and lessons, students will be introduced to some fascinating gnawing creatures, including capybaras, beavers, and porcupines. Students will examine the physiology and ecology of many different families, while exploring the specific behaviors of several species living at the Zoo.
Day and Time: Every other Saturday beginning February 11th
11am - 1pm OR 3 pm - 5 pm
6 class sessions
Cost: $160 for Zoo members, $185 for non-members.
Location: Education Complex (Classroom 4)
Click Below for Online Registration:
Whether you have a great idea for a research project or you want to conduct a study at the Zoo for a school or science fair project, the Independent Study option may be for you. Through Independent Study, you will work independently, but guidance from staff and keepers will help you complete the project.
Requirements: Any student undertaking independent study must check in with staff at least twice a month and make adequate progress prior to each meeting. A final paper/project must be produced by a reasonable deadline.
Day & Time: To be determined on an as-needed basis
Cost: Free to those enrolled in other Zoo U. Courses
Current or past Zoo U. students who are in 11th or 12th grade are also eligible to compete for the annual Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Conservation Leadership Award, a $500 college scholarship for an outstanding community conservation project. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Zoo U. classes change each semester, so there is sure to be a course that interests you. Recent classes topics include Marine Biology, Primatology, Introduction to Animal Behavior, Career Exploration, and more. Check back regularly to learn about new Zoo U. opportunities.