The Phoenix Zoo offers several programs to help teens explore careers, learn more about science and animals, and get directly involved with conservation. View the program descriptions below to learn more.

Available Programs:

Roots & Shoots (Ages 10 – 14)

The Phoenix Zoo is excited to introduce Roots & Shoots, a new education program in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institution. Roots & Shoots is a worldwide environmental and humanitarian effort that supports youth in action. It’s a fun and exciting way for young people to learn about environmental issues at local, national, and international levels, and find out ways they can help.

Participants will learn about a specific environmental issue focused on improving the lives of people, animals, and the environment. Through the development of an interactive media-based outreach campaign children will be empowered to raise awareness in their own communities. This is grassroots conservation for kids by kids!

February 2014 – A Look at Sustainable Resources

People enjoy natural resources such as wood, palm oil and seafood every day. As demand grows, the use of these resources affects many species of wildlife such as orangutans, tigers and sea turtles. This month we spread the word about how we can safely and sustainably use the resources we love (there’s no need to stop eating sushi!) without hurting endangered species.

Dates, Times and Registration

Wild Science Academy – Wild Science Workshops (Ages 5 – 13)

Wild Science Academy lets you explore the world of science with the Zoo as your classroom! These affordable and educational two-hour classes teach science through animal interactions, behind-the-scenes experiences, laboratory investigations, group projects, Zoo hikes, and other inquiry-based learning activities. Wild Science Academy is perfect for any young student with a desire to learn more about the science of zoos. Each class is also developed using the AZ State Science Standards.

Wild Science Workshops: These broad topic, multi-age science courses focus on science and ecology concepts such as physical and behavioral animal adaptations, habitats, niches, food chains, predator prey relationships and other important subjects relating to Arizona Science Standards.

Program Topics:

  • March – May 2014

March: Around the World, Ages 5 – 8

The Phoenix Zoo houses animals from every corner of the world. Come learn about different animals from every continent and the unique habitats they survive in. With animal interactions and up-close animal experiences students will leave the Zoo feeling like a world traveler!

Dates, Times and Registration

March: Wild trek, Ages 9 – 13

Famous field scientists have trekked and explored through lands and seas to study animals in the wild. This class mimics some of these treks with an orienteering race through Scientific History. Strap on your hiking boots and learn about those who came before.

Dates, Times and Registration

May: Extreme Animals, Ages 5 – 8

Animals are adapted to survive. Some animals survive in below freezing temperatures, some in the deepest of deep parts of the ocean, and some in the driest and most remote of deserts. Come learn about these extreme animals that can survive where others cannot with in depth investigations and hands-on encounters!

Dates, Times and Registration

May: Veterinary Science, Ages 5 – 8

Taking the best care of the Zoo’s animals to ensure their health and safety is one of the most important things here at the Zoo. A lot of time and effort is put into the wellbeing of our animal collection so that guests can view happy and active animals every time they visit. In this course, students will learn all about zoo veterinarian work as they get an exclusive tour of the Phoenix Zoo’s Animal Care Center and find out what it takes to care for the Zoo’s animal collection.

Dates, Times and Registration

Wild Science Academy – Wild Science Investigations (Ages 5 – 13)

Wild Science Academy lets you explore the world of science with the Zoo as your classroom! These affordable and educational two-hour classes teach science through animal interactions, behind-the-scenes experiences, laboratory investigations, group projects, Zoo hikes, and other inquiry-based learning activities. Wild Science Academy is perfect for any young student with a desire to learn more about the science of zoos. Each class is also developed using the AZ State Science Standards.

Wild Science Investigations: These courses delve deeper into conservation issues, specific animals and environments, and specialized scientific systems. In just two hours you’re part-way to becoming an expert!

  • January – April 2014

January: Biome Studies: Rainforests, Ages 5 – 7

Rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems in the world, with literally millions of different types of animals calling them home! In this course students will learn all about the complexities of a rainforest environment. Students will gain knowledge of these precious and productive lands through instructive activities, up-close encounters with our rainforest animal ambassadors, and amazing animal experiences that won’t soon be forgotten!

Dates, Times and Registration

January: Creature Connections: Symbiotic Relationships, Ages 8 – 10

Everyone needs a friend. The world is full of animals that depend on other living things to survive. In “Creature Connections” we investigate animal associations all around us. Participants will use the Zoo to learn about symbiotic relationships and how different animals interact with one another. With up-close animal discoveries around every corner and a wild journey through the Zoo, students will see wildlife connections all around them!

Dates, Times and Registration

January: Biomimicry: Part 1, Ages 11 – 13

Students probe into intellectual discoveries and the scientists who have used amazing wildlife as inspiration for revolutionary ideas. From Velcro to night-vision goggles, many animals have been studied as part of the creative process for developing new technologies. Through animal interactions and hands-on activities, students will study a variety of remarkable inventions that were inspired by nature.

Dates, Times and Registration

February: Biome Studies: Savannas, Ages 5 – 7

Savannas and prairies are home to many of our favorite animals, from African lions to warthogs, to prairie dogs! In this class students will learn all about what defines these unique grassland ecosystems. Students will engage in fun, learning activities and will even meet animal ambassadors who call the amazing savannas and prairies “home.”

Dates, Times and Registration

February: Raptor Science, Ages 8 – 10

Join us to learn about and meet the ultimate predators of the sky – raptors! In this course, students will learn all about these amazing birds by studying some of the Zoo’s owls, hawks, vultures and other raptors. Up-close animal encounters experiences, hands-on experiments, and other fun learning activities will have students leaving the Zoo feeling like raptor experts.

Dates, Times and Registration

February: Biomimicry: Part 2, Ages 11 – 13

Students will look at wildlife-inspired designs and create their own nature-inspired inventions. Perfect for creative young minds and budding inventors! Using animal interactions for inspiration, students will brainstorm and even create a prototype for one of their unique ideas.

Dates, Times and Registration

April: Nature’s Illusionists, Ages 5 – 7

Some animals blend in their surroundings and some animals look like ferocious predators (but aren’t!). This month come to the Zoo and explore awesome adaptations intended to trick other animals. Learn about moths that trick predators into thinking their owls or insects that look like sticks! Through hands-on learning activities, games and up-close animal experiences, students will see first-hand camouflage and mimicry throughout the animal kingdom.

Dates, Times and Registration

April: Amazing Arizona, Ages 8 – 10

Our desert home is a harsh environment for living things. Discover the different ways animals and plants survive in Arizona, and the ecological, geological, and spatial characteristics that make this state unique!

Dates, Times and Registration

April: Sustainable Resources, Ages 11 – 13

Understanding conservation issues is a delicate balance of science, history, and debate. There is a growing awareness of and movement toward encouraging the sustainable harvesting of natural resources, which could change fishing and farming forever! Find out what defines sustainable harvesting, why it’s important, and the ways animals around the world such as tigers, elephants, and orangutans are affected.

Dates, Times and Registration

ZooTeens (Ages 14 – 17)

ZooTeens is a great opportunity for teens to get started early in volunteering and learning about science, conservation, animals and much more including developing a keen sense of responsibility, self-confidence, public speaking abilities and career skills. In addition to gaining valuable professional skills, ZooTeens receive the same Zoo benefits as our adult volunteer group.

ZooTeens primarily spend their time interacting with the Zoo public through games, crafts, activities and the presentation of animal artifacts. Occasionally, ZooTeens may also present some small animals to Zoo guests to demonstrate care-giving or natural history concepts.

Any teenager between the ages of 14 and 17 and has an interest in the Zoo, natural world and helping their community is welcome to apply.

Please visit our ZooTeens program page for more information.