Education Resources

Resources

Exploration Field Guide

Have you scheduled a field trip to the Seneca Park Zoo? Print out our Exploration Field Guide for your students to use during your visit!

Expeditions

Think field study and fun! A professional Zoo Educator will lead guests through a thematic, interactive, inquiry-based experience! Expeditions take place in and around the Zoo and bring learning alive.

Professional Learning Opportunities

Come to the Zoo or have us come to you. We can provide exciting programs for your grade level or district-wide meetings. Learn how you can best utilize the Zoo’s amazing animals and other incredible resources to meet the needs of your students. Find out how Zoo programs meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards, and can be tailored to meet your students’ unique needs. Contact us for details at education@senecazoo.org or 585.336.7213

Chaperone Tips

Chaperones are an integral part of a successful field trip. It is an important responsibility and can help make the group’s experience safe, fun and educational. The Zoo requires a minimum of one chaperone for every five students.

It is the responsibility of the chaperone to:

  • Keep the children safe.
  • Keep the animals safe.
  • Review Zoo Etiquette (www.senecaparkzoo.org) and reinforce Zoo policies.
  • Know the names of all students in your group. We recommend name tags.
  • Make sure all students know your name.
  • Stay with your students at all times.
  • Assist students who have an emergency by notifying Zoo staff.
  • Help students dispose of trash and recyclables into proper containers.
  • Reinforce the same behaviors your group leader or teacher expects in their program or classroom.
  • Prevent students from harassing, chasing or feeding any Zoo animals or native animals. Do not allow students to drop or throw things into a Zoo exhibit, or disturb animals by tapping on the glass or shouting.
  • Not allow students to cross barriers or enter non-public areas.
  • Keep students on paved pathways.
  • Remind your students that climbing is only allowed on children’s play equipment.
  • Ensure your students act in a respectful manner to Zoo animals, staff and fellow visitors.

Prepare for the field trip by:

  • Talking to the teacher or group leader before the trip to understand your responsibilities.
  • Gathering all important information and materials, including meeting times, lunch time/location and bus information.
  • Wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. You will be doing a great deal of walking.
  • Bring a cell phone to use in case of an emergency. Be sure to obtain an emergency phone number from the teacher or group leader before you arrive at the Zoo.

Ensure your students have a fun learning experience by:

  • Engaging them. Some examples are:
    1. Have them read the animal information labels to you.
    2. Ask them questions. You don’t need to be an animal expert!
      • For example: If the label says polar bears live where it is cold, ask your students what they think they might need to survive the cold? (i.e. heavy coats.) Then compare that with the polar bear.
    3. Make your own mini-scavenger hunt!
      • For example: Ask them to find five animals that live in Africa. Or three animals that are black and white.
    4. Ask them to make connections about adaptations!
      • For example: Orangutans have long arms. Why might that be helpful? (Move through trees, reach fruit.)
    5.  Have them choose a favorite animal in each area and tell you why

Funding: Information & Ideas

Apply for a grant to cover your field trip

Target field trip grants

Post on donors choose

The Zoo has limited funding for underserved school districts to cover expedition costs, only on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get your students involved
Hold a school-wide fundraiser! Have students bring in loose change starting in September and get them excited watching the amount grow. You’ll be surprised how much you have by May.

Ask
You don’t know until you ask. Ask your school administration, ask your PTA, ask your room parents and volunteers. A contribution from any source will lower your per-student cost.

Partner up
Contact a local restaurant and inquire about fundraiser nights. Many restaurants will choose a date with you and then share a percentage of their sales profits on a given night. Spread the word and encourage families to go that night.

Homework Hotline

Watch the Zoo on WXXI’s Homework Hotline

Homework Hotline is a live statewide show designed for children in grades 4 through 12. The program – which is now in its 27th season – provides the tools students need to succeed both in and out of the classroom, and supports academic achievement across a variety of learning standards.  The Zoo has partnered with this program for the past decade, presenting an animal ambassador and educating on conservation as well as spreading the word about the Zoo’s many events.

Homework Hotline airs Monday – Thursday from 4:30 – 5:00 PM EST on NYS public TV stations. Check local listings.

Click the video links below to view a few of our past Homework Hotline visits: