Education in the Time of COVIDElise Shtayyeh, Education Program Coordinator February 8, 2021
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ commitment to education remains steadfast despite the year’s changes due to COVID. With schools going virtual and buses parked, The Living Desert took the opportunity to adapt and change the way we engage with schools, educators, and students.
With classes now hosted in a virtual setting, on-site field trips remain paused.
Bringing the Zoo to School with our new Virtual Field Trip Program!
The Living Desert’s Virtual Field Trip Program teaches scientific concepts and conservation topics, while sharing stories about the amazing plants and animals of the Zoo. Using Next Generation Science Standards, each Virtual Field Trip is curriculum-based and gives students the opportunity to experience the desert in a new way. The current series includes topics such as: animal & plant adaptions and keystone species.
The Living Desert’s long-standing partnership with local school districts and teachers helped to build the topics and program ensuring the Virtual Field Trip topics were fun and interesting, while also meeting the curriculum standards. Now, educators can bring their virtual classroom to life with a free virtual visit to The Living Desert. Each Virtual Field Trip includes “pre-visit” toolkit, the virtual field trip video, and corresponding workbook materials. The videos highlight not only the amazing plants and animals that call The Living Desert home, but also the Zoo’s conservation projects to teach STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) concepts.
Our endeavors to educate children in the conservation projects at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens are twofold: to create future conservationists and to create agents of change. We hope that through our videos and future content, we can capture the hearts and minds of future conservation leaders. People tend to protect what they love, and we are hoping that through our education programs, we can help young people learn to make connections with the desert. Thereby, facilitating a love for the desert and its inhabitants.
Would you like to see us cover a specific topic? Please share your ideas by emailing SchoolFieldTrips@LivingDesert.org.
Did You Know...
- In the 2018-2019 year, over 40,000 people participated in our educational programming.
- In a typical year, over 30,000 students visit The Living Desert on a school field trip.
- The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens volunteers have donated about 650,000 hours of service. Our volunteers play a key role in supporting our educational programming.
Your support makes all the difference!
Your support helps us provide these programs and opportunities for local school children to experience nature, learn about the plants and animals that call the desert home, and develop an appreciation for the natural world. Thank you for your generosity!