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.

Animal Presentations

These interactive learning experiences make a terrific addition to your Zoo Visit! Animal presentations allow guests of all ages to get up-close and personal with an ambassador animal.

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 and reinforce Zoo etiquette:
    • RESPECT the Animals: The Zoo is the animals’ home and we need to show them respect. Always use quiet voices and do not make animal noises because unfamiliar noises can be upsetting to the animals. Do not tap on enclosure barriers such as glass or fencing. Do not feed the animals.
    • Be SAFE: For everyone’s safety, do not run or climb on enclosure barriers. Keep your group together! If anyone or anything is lost, they will be brought to the Front Office.
    • Be COURTEOUS: Throw away all litter and recycle what you can. Be respectful of other guests at the Zoo.
  • 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.
  • Reinforce the same behaviors your group leader or teacher expects in their program or classroom.
  • Keep students on paved pathways.

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: Snow leopards have long, thick tails. Why might that be helpful? (To help stay warm in cold temperatures)
    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. Please contact education@senecazoo.org for more information.

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.