The following programs are currently offered for teens and pre-teens. Please refer to our complete 2015 Spring/Winter Wildlife Academy Brochure for all of our upcoming courses and offerings. Please check back periodically, as new classes and programs will become available. Additionally, teens interested in conservation should check out the Project Polar Bear contest.
  • KidScience - Grades 6-8
    • IMG_0118KidScience 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, and 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 it is 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.

      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.

      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

      Once your application has been received, you will be contacted to come to the Zoo for an interview with the KidScience Coordinator. Sorry, online application is not available for the KidScience program.

      For more information, please contact mrevak@pittsburghzoo.org or 412-365-2567

  • Zoo U. - Grades 9-12
    • Zoo UThe Zoo U. program offers semester-based courses that allow high school students to explore new areas of science and conservation in a fun and exciting way. Students take an in-depth look at current research and topics in zoology, biology, ecology, and more. Classes are designed to be interactive and challenging for students in grades 9 to 12. Summer classes run Monday-Friday. Fall and Spring classes run two Saturdays per month for six sessions.

      A limited number of scholarships are available for those who qualify.

      For more information, please email mrevak@pittsburghzoo.org or call 412-365-2567.

      Course Offerings for Spring 2015:

      Introduction to Animal Behavior   elephant3
      By understanding animal behavior, scientists can gain new insights into many important aspects of a species natural history, including daily habits, social structure, communication, and even methods for conserving the species in the wild. In this course, students will examine how particular behaviors develop in a species, how behaviors are controlled, and how they may be beneficial to the animal. Course lessons may focus on such topics as innate vs. learned behaviors, communication, navigation, and predator avoidance. The course will use classic animal behavior studies and current areas of research to introduce students to the fascinating world of animal behavior through active discussions, animal tours and observations, and in-class activities.

      Day and Time: Every other Saturday beginning January 31st
                            9am -11am SOLD OUT
                            1pm - 3pm
                            6 class sessions
      Cost: $155 for Zoo members, $180 for non-members.
      Location:   Education Complex (Classroom 4)



      Western PA Wildlife  baby_deer
      This dynamic course will give students the opportunity to take a closer look at the animals and plants that are in our own backyard. Lessons will center on native ecosystems and species, with a special look at the history of conservation in PA.  Course topics may focus on such areas as the identification of PA species, hunting as a conservation strategy, and tracking techniques to detect animals through tracks and scat.  The class will include active discussion, projects, tours and some outdoor class activities.  

      Day and Time:  Every other Saturday beginning January 31st

                            11am - 1pm    More seats added!

                            6 class sessions
      Cost: $155 for Zoo members, $180 for non-members.
      Location:     Education Complex (Classroom 4)



      Independent Study
      IMG_1097Whether 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
      Additonal Information
      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 mrevak@pittsburghzoo.org 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, Big Cats, Island Ecology, Career Exploration, and more. Check back regularly to learn about new Zoo U. opportunities.

  • Keeper Interactions - Grades 10-12
    • Pizza 1The Zoo offers two opportunities for high school students to connect with Keepers and Aquarists and learn more about these exciting career fields: Keeper Conversations and Pizza with the Keepers.

      Keeper Conversations
      $13 per session
      Students in grades 10-12 (no younger participants, please) who would like to shadow a zookeeper will tour animal areas as they chat with keepers and aquarists about the work they love. Space is limited for this exclusive opportunity. Keeper Conversations are held the first Tuesday of every month.

      Remaining dates for the 2014-15 school year:

      February 3, 2015 - Cats & PPG Aquarium
      March 3, 2015 - Primates* & PPG Aquarium
      April 7, 2015 - Kids Kingdom & Elephants/Giraffes
      * primate tours are not behind the scenes


      Pizza with the Keepers - $22 per session

      Sunday, March 15, 2015
      High school students (grades 10-12, no younger participants please) are invited to join keepers, aquarists, and veterinary staff for an informal lunch to discuss animal-related career goals. Staff from Kids Kingdom, the reptile department, the mammal department, PPG Aquarium, and veterinary/animal care may be in attendance. Behind the scenes tours will take place after lunch.  Space is limited for this popular program.



      Please email reservations@pittsburghzoo.org if you have any questions about either program.  Please note that because of the large number of requests and keeper availability, we are not able to schedule individual job shadowing experiences. 

  • Wildlife Academy Family Workshop - All Ages
    • ss1

      There are no workshops scheduled at this time. Please check back soon.
  • Wildlife Academy and Adult Lecture - Ages 6-Adult
    • Working on the Wild Side henry2

      Adult Lecture - Ages 13 and up (no younger participants, please)
      Saturday, March 7, 10 am (2 hours in length)
      Fee:  Member $25, Non-members $31

      Join Henry Kacprzyk, Curator of Reptiles and Kids Kingdom, as he shares humorous and insightful anecdotes from his 30-year career at the Zoo.
      He will talk about his many experiences and adventures, including his trips to Australia and Mongolia.  From aardvarks to zebras, Henry has worked with them all and has a story for every one of them.  This program is something you won't want to miss!


      Please note, if you are a member, you must sign in using the tab in the upper right-hand corner of the page after you click the "register online" button in order to receive your member discount. Please confirm that the member discount is shown in your cart before you enter credit card information and check out.


      The Role of Zoos and Aquarium in Conservation

      Adult Lecture - Ages 13 and up (no younger participants, please)
      Date to be announced. 

      Dr. Joe Gaspard, the Zoo's new Director of Science and Conservation, will speak about the vital and challenging
      role that zoos and aquariums play in conservation.  Please check back soon for registration information.

  • Zoo Teens - Ages 14-17 Summer Volunteer Program
    • IMG_3119The Zoo Teens summer volunteer program is available for students ages 14-17. It is a great way to learn more about animals and zoo careers.

      Registration for the 2015 Zoo Teen program is closed, and we are no longer accepting applications for this program. Please check back in late fall of 2015 for the registration date for the 2016 program. For other great teen programing consider our Zoo U. activities.

      To give your teen the best chance to be interviewed for this program, be sure to register on the first business day in January. Please call the Zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator at 412-365-2524 on Monday, January 4, 2016, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If you have any questions prior to January, please email the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@pittsburghzoo.org.
  • Field Trips
    • polar bears 032

      The Zoo offers a wide variety of options for your group's field trip. With tailored options for every age group, your school, organization, or recreational group can plan an exciting experience for your Zoo outing.

      Please review the following brochures for complete program offerings:

      Grades 7-12 Learning Adventures

      College Learning Adventures

      When you are ready to schedule a Learning Adventures field trip program, please refer to the field trip PDF for all the information you need about our class offerings, policies, admission, lunches, souvenirs, and overnight trips, and complete the Field Trip Reservations Form found on page 9 or 10 of the document.

      Please contact the Education Reservations department at 412-365-2528 or learn@pittsburghzoo.org with any questions.

      Sorry, online registration is not available for Learning Adventure Programs.