For years, the Seneca Park Zoo Society docents and Education Department staff have partnered with fifth graders at Rochester’s World of Inquiry School to celebrate wolves.
As part of this partnership, students spent months studying about wolves prior to Wolf Day yesterday, a Conservation Education Day hosted by the Zoo to celebrate wolves and educate visitors about how to help save them from extinction.
Docents helped by visiting the class to teach students how to handle wolf biofacts and share them with the public. They also worked with students on presentation skills, guiding them to have meaningful interactions with visitors.
World of Inquiry students spent the morning of Wolf Day near the wolf exhibit at the Zoo, which is home to three Mexican gray wolves, Chico, Diego and Durango. Sharing information about wolves and how zoos work to protect them, students set up several stations to educate visitors and display their hard work.
One group of students wrote poems about wolves to dispel the myth that they are evil animals, whicle another presented “Crazy Biofacts” to demonstrate wolf biology and behavior.
Students also created presentations about what you can do to help wolves and why wolves are important to their ecosystems around the world, as well as a Wolf board game, face-painting station and survey center where visitors learned about popular misconceptions about wolves.
There are only about 50 Mexican gray wolves left in their natural range, and Seneca Park Zoo is part of the animal’s Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to create sustainable populations in conservation care.
The students who made Wolf Day possible achieved their goal of communicating this important conservation message to Zoo visitors and had a fun, active day applying what they are learning in school in a real-world context.
To find out more about partnerships with Seneca Park Zoo and how your child’s class can have real-world, authentic learning experiences with Zoo visitors, contact School and Youth Group Program Coordinator Anneke Nordmark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Ceci Menchetti