Join us at the zoo for a dynamic and fun educational program that is focused on animals, conservation, and stewardship. We offer a variety of programs that satisfy many science benchmarks while also being engaging and informative. Many programs can be adapted to a variety of ages and abilities; most programs are 45-60 minutes long and do not include zoo admission unless purchased separately. Most of our programs are also available for outreach; additional fees apply. Please see individual program descriptions for details.
In-Person classroom programs are on hold for the time being due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Check back again in early 2021 for updates. Stay Healthy!
Program fees: most classroom programs are $125 per group and limited to 35 people (children and adults total).
The program fee is ONLY for onsite education programs, additional fees apply for zoo admission or for outreach programs.
Please call guest relations at 973-731-5800 x221 for group pricing information.
For additional program information, please contact Marguerite Hunt at email@example.com or 973-731-5800 x103.
Programs are suggested by age, however please feel free to discuss with us your group’s needs and how our program content may fit into your curriculum.
Description: These programs encourage critical thinking about and meaningful connections to the biology, ecology, and evolution of animals by using guided inquiry, animal ambassadors, and appropriate biofacts to illustrate key scientific concepts and themes. Many of the courses can be adapted across age groups by our educators; please contact us for more information if you’re interested in one of these programs for your students. Most programs are 45-60 minutes long . Please see individual program descriptions for details.
- Animal Coverings
Description: Relating to the purpose of our own skins, students investigate the types and functions of animal coverings such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. This is a great class even for pre-K children, and generally includes one touchable animal ambassador.
- Animal Adaptations
Description: Students discuss adaptations as a concept and explore examples of both physical and behavioral adaptations as demonstrated by a variety of zoo animal ambassadors.
- Animal Habitats
Description: Every wild habitat supplies its inhabitants with what they need to live, but also presents challenges that must be addressed. Students will explore a few major of habitats, meet some animal ambassadors, discover how habitats provide basic needs and how environmental challenges are managed.
- Animal Enrichment
Description: Students examine the needs of animals, from feeding and cleaning, to providing the mentally and physically stimulating environments that ensure the health and welfare of mind, body, and soul. Includes meeting a few ambassador animals and an enrichment-creating activity.
- Animal Myths
Description: This program presents and analyzes some myths and misconceptions about animals. Students will meet live animals and discover that fact, while different from fiction, is just as amazing.
- Endangered Species and Extinction
Description: What does it mean to be endangered? Students will consider a variety of pathways to extinction and will meet some ambassador animals that illustrate the definitions of endangered or invasive species.
- Distance Learning
Description: TBZ Education Distance Learning is an opportunity for classroom teachers to access TBZ programming remotely. Content can be based on current education programs or tailored to the needs/specifications of the teacher. Distance Learning programs may be a single event, a multiple event arc throughout the school year, or as an introduction to/review of a TBZ field trip.
Description: Just like our programs for younger folks, these programs encourage critical thinking about and meaningful connections to the biology, ecology, and evolution of animals by using guided inquiry, animal ambassadors, and appropriate biofacts to illustrate key scientific concepts and themes. However, the content and language used in these programs are more advanced and are therefore better suited to a more mature audience; please contact us for more information if you’re interested in one of these programs. Most programs are 45-60 minutes long. Please see individual program descriptions for details.
- Zoo Conservation and Stewardship
Description: Caring for our animal ambassadors goes deeper than just feeding and cleaning! Participants in this program will engage in a discussion about the history of zoos and TBZ; the evolution of our conservation, education, and research mission; and what we do to protect and serve wildlife locally and globally.
- Anatomy and Physiology
Description: Using birds as a model organism, students will illustrate and describe the structures, functions, and organization of animals. Includes an extensive display of related biofacts plus an opportunity to meet ambassador animals and discuss how both their internal and external anatomies have evolved to aid in survival. Biofacts will be incorporated into the lesson to illustrate the internal design of our animal subjects.
- Biology, Evolution, and Adaptations
Description: Students will examine the connections between biology, the environment, and adaptive situations that inform the process of evolution in various species. The lesson includes a brief overview of cell division and genetics, followed by a discussion of various genetic expressions. Students will learn about the benefit or detriment certain adaptations pose to individual animals, and the effects on their survival in the wild. This program is about 90 minutes.
- Animal Biomechanics
Description: Students will explore and examine how animal biomechanics and behaviors influenced the development of cutting edge technology used by humans. Includes an opportunity to meet ambassador animals.
- Distance Learning
Description: TBZ Education Distance Learning is an opportunity for classroom teachers and organization leaders to access TBZ programming remotely. Content can be based on current education programs or tailored to the needs/specifications of the group. Distance Learning programs may be a single event, a multiple event arc throughout the year, or as an introduction to/review of a TBZ field trip.
Distance Learning: TBZ Education Distance Learning is an opportunity to access TBZ programming remotely. Content can be based on current education programs or tailored to the needs/specifications of the group. Distance Learning programs may be a single event, a multiple event arc addressing multiple topics, or as an introduction to/review of a TBZ field trip.
Special Needs Groups: We enjoy providing engaging zoo content-based programs to everyone! Programming for special needs groups is available upon request; please call or email so we can discuss how we might provide the best possible education experience for your group.
Scouts: We have scout specific programs that address badge/journey requirements. We can also modify our existing programs to meet many of the same requirements. Please reach out to speak with an educator.
Overnights at the Zoo: Enjoy a wild night filled with adventure at the Turtle Back Zoo! Observe our animals in the dark, interact with our Educators and Keepers, and discover how our zoo works behind the scenes. We offer Overnight programs for the public (June of each year) as well as privately organized overnights (for Scouts, church groups, etc.).
Daily On Grounds Public Programs: Live animal presentations are given daily in season (May-October). Keeper talks and animal feedings are often given throughout the day. Please check the activity board at the zoo for times and locations.