Through the Minnesota Zoo’s Math and Science (ZOOMS) Program, students and teachers discover just what it takes to engineer a modern zoo. Funded by 3M, ZOOMS provides both teachers and students the opportunity to apply important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to real world situations using the Minnesota Zoo as a context. Through topics such as Engineering FOR Animals (exhibit design), Engineering FROM Animals (biomimicry), and Engineering BY Animals (animals as engineers), teachers and students are challenged to consider and tackle the complexities in both the natural world and constructed environments. The ZOOMS program supports teachers with integrating standards-based ZOOMS resources, design challenges, and field trips into their curriculum to better equip students with the STEM skills to engineer and problem solve just like zookeepers, exhibit designers and conservationists at the Minnesota Zoo! Start seeing the zoo in a whole new way!
STEM at the Zoo: ZOOMS Workshop for Informal Educators
Join us this spring for a three- day workshop held at the Minnesota Zoo. This professional development opportunity is offered to informal educators from zoos and aquariums that are looking to expand their institution’s STEM programming and implement the ZOOMS model, a zoo-based integrated STEM program. We will explore the role of zoos and aquariums in providing high-quality STEM education, give examples of the programming we offer through ZOOMS, and provide tools and resources that you can take back to your home institution.
Check out more information.
75% refund through March 13th
50% refund March 14th-April 10th
No refund after April 11th
How is STEM applied at the Minnesota Zoo? Get inspired through the exploration of exhibit design, biomimicry, and animal engineers to further equip your students with STEM skills used by real zoo professionals.
Professional Development Opportunities
- ZOOMS Institute August 7-9, 2017, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
See the Zoo in a whole new way. This institute will engage teachers in utilizing animals and the Zoo as a tool to integrate engineering concepts into their curriculum, based on the Minnesota State Science Standards. Sessions will focus on Engineering BY Animals, Engineering FROM Animals (biomimicry), and Engineering FOR Animals.
To register, visit here.
- ZOOMS Institute 2.0 August 10, 2017, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Designed for teachers who have previously attended the ZOOMS Institute, ZOOMS 2.0 will expand your zoo knowledge and engage you in various STEM lessons and activities to further equip you to challenge your students to think like zookeepers, exhibit designers, and conservationists.
To register, visit here.
- Customized STEM Professional Development for your group
Work with us to create your own single day workshop or a three day ZOOMS Institute with a focus on biomimicry, animal engineers, or exhibit design. Reserve dates that work with your schedule! To schedule your custom professional development, contact STEM@mnzoo.org or call 952-431-9243.
- STEM Tours
Get a better idea of how STEM is applied at the Zoo with this 1½ hour tour that will take you behind the scenes to experience first-hand how engineering is used by zoo professionals. To schedule a STEM tour, contact STEM@mnzoo.org or call 952-431-9243.
Fee: $8 per person; $80 minimum plus applicable admission fees.
For a more complete list of teacher professional development offerings or to register to attend a workshop, visit here.
The ZOOMS design challenge offers students a chance to develop a solution to a ‘real’ problem faced by Zoo Keepers and staff at the Minnesota Zoo. From designing an enrichment, to building a model of a renovated animal exhibit, the problem will challenge students to use their science and math knowledge, creativity, problem solving, and research skills during the engineering design process in order to best solve the problem and present a solution. Selected students are invited to showcase their design challenge solution in the ZOOMS Design Exhibition in March at the Minnesota Zoo for a chance to win a backstage pass experience with our animals!
See the ZOOMS Design Challenge in Action!
Courtesy of South Washington County Schools
Immerse students in the world of engineering at the zoo in this customized full or multi-day residency. Guided by a zoo naturalist, students will be led through hands on inquiry-based activities, an exploration of exhibit and enrichment design, behind the scenes experiences, encounters with zoo professionals in STEM and more. Students will leave with a deeper understanding of how science, technology, engineering, and math is used and applied at the zoo.
Fee: $25 per student per day; $250 per day minimum plus applicable admission fees.
These 45-minute interactive classes are fun and engaging and provide a great opportunity to reinforce standard-based concepts being explored in your curriculum. Topics range from tropical rainforests to animal adaptations to ocean conservation.
What makes the perfect cow? In this special farm class, explore how farmers are using genetics to engineer their ideal cow over several generations of selective breeding. Explore the future of farming and try your hand at ‘engineering’ a genetically desirable herd!
- Engineering for Animals: Exhibit Design Have you ever wondered what it takes to design an exhibit at the zoo? Learn about animal needs and how to identify the components that make a successful animal exhibit. Put your engineering skills to the test by constructing your own exhibit!
- Engineering from Animals : Biomimicry 101
What do airplanes, medical tape, and air conditioning have in common? They are some of the many human inventions that have been inspired by nature. Explore the science of biomimicry to see how scientists are looking to the natural world to develop new sustainable products and technologies that change the way we live. How will nature spark your design creativity?
- Enrichment Inquiry
Explore the role of enrichment coordinator at the Minnesota Zoo. Learn how an animal’s behavioral and physical animal adaptations steer the design and type of enrichment it receives. Through inquiry and hands on exploration of real zoo enrichment items, students will analyze and identify features that connect each animal to its approved enrichment.
Students will expand their knowledge about Minnesota Zoo’s South African penguins. After a penguin exhibit problem is identified, it is up to the students develop a solution through the construction of a nesting site.
Learn more about Zoo Classes.
Engineering by Animals: Inventive Nature
Humans are far from the only living creatures on earth that affect their environments in fascinating ways. “Engineering by Animals” looks at examples of wildlife that show animals going beyond their built-in physical adaptations, using and even altering their habitats to increase the chances of their own survival. During this program you will also have a chance to test your own animal ingenuity during its “Survival Solutions” activity!
Engineering for Animals: Exhibit Design & Beyond
Zoos have come a long way in the last 75 years: blank concrete cells with steel bars have given way to lush, naturally-inspired enclosures with live plants and jungle-gyms that put our own playgrounds to shame. During this program you’ll visit a variety of the Minnesota Zoo’s cutting-edge animal enclosures live, and learn about the smart engineering that goes into designing a modern zoo exhibit. You’ll also test your own ingenuity by whipping up exhibit designs for animals that don’t even exist yet!
To register for a program or to find a more complete list of Interactive Video Conferencing programs, visit here.
It’s true! People use math every day, and the keepers and scientists at the zoo are no exception! The Minnesota Zoo Math Days have been designed to inspire students grades 4th-12th to learn more about math applications in the workplace. Through hands on activity stations, students will answer grade appropriate math problems related to a wide variety of animal issues such as animal weights, diets and conservation.
Math Day 2017 will be open for registration August 2017.
- Wednesday, November 1, 2017 – Elementary students (3rd-5th grade) 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, November 7th or 8th , 2017 – Middle school students (6th-8th grade) 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
*1500 students per day maximum. Register early to reserve the date of your choice!
For more information on Math Day, visit here.
STEM Quest Curriculum Guide: Analyzing Human Impact in Malaysia
- STEM Quest is a curriculum guide meant to help students realize humans act as part of an ecosystem and use science, technology, engineering and math in the conservation and protection of habitats and species that live in Southeast Asia, specifically the country of Malaysia. You and your students will learn about the positive and negative impacts of human engineering and technology and the consequences and destruction that animals now face in their natural habitat.
- STEM Trek: In addition to the curriculum guide, use the STEM Trek on your next field trip to the zoo! Whether it is used as an embedded activity to be used as a part of the STEM Quest curriculum guide or to function as a separate activity, this self-guided exploration of the tropics trail will challenge students to use problem solving, observational, math, and data collection skills to analyze the positive impact of the Minnesota Zoo has in addressing the problems facing animals in captivity.
To find a complete list of teacher resources, visit here.
SciGirls, an award winning PBS KIDS series, website and national outreach initiative, is changing how millions of tween girls think about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM! In each episode, animated characters Izzie and her best friend Jake find themselves in jams only science can fix. To set things right, Izzie calls on bright, curious real-life SciGirls, who put STEM to work and save the day. Izzie also invites viewers to hang out on the website – pbskids.org/scigirls – a totally safe, social networking environment where girls can play games, connect, create personal profiles and avatars, share projects and watch every episode.
As a partner to SciGirls, the ZOOMS program integrates standards-based activities, hands on inquiry, and exploration in zoo classes, camps, and curriculum activities in order to inspire girls to get excited about STEM. To learn more, visit teacher resources or http://mnzoo.org/education/camps/.
SciGirls is produced for PBS by tpt National Productions and is made possible by the National Science Foundation. Additional support by L’Oreal USA’s For Girls in Science program, Northrup Grumman Foundation, and PPG Industries Foundation. SciGirls ®/© 2014 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. pbskids.org/scigirls
ZOOMS is sponsored by
For further questions regarding STEM programming at the Minnesota Zoo, please contact STEM@mnzoo.org.