Science Day At The Santa Barbara Zoo
Free Hands-On Fun & Learning On Sunday, September 25
• Activities “From the Seas to the Stars” for Families With Kids from Preschool Age Through 8th Grade
• Prizes Awarded
• Free Admission for Teachers and Their Families (With Pre-registration)
How do bees see the world? How do scientists track condors in the wild? What do stars look like through an infrared telescope? These – and many other – questions are answered at the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Science Day with hands-on family fun on Saturday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All activities are free with Zoo admission.
“The point is to get everyone excited about science,” says Tiffany Musgrove, Director of Conservation Education. “This is a great opportunity for all ages, boys and girls, moms and dads, to have interactive experiences that are, above all, FUN!”
The Zoo and several community partners present more than a dozen activity stations, each with engaging, hands-on activities for children from preschool to eighth grade. Prizes are awarded for participants who complete each activity. There are also related keeper talks and animal encounters throughout the day.
Teachers can use these creative, exciting ideas to bring science alive in their own classrooms. To that aim, teachers and their families receive free Zoo admission to Science Day, by pre-registering (firstname.lastname@example.org). Educators are also eligible for a special raffle to win science-related educational materials.
Musgrove recalls a little girl who attended last year who was going from station to station, gathering medallions for completing the activities.
“She must have been around four years old,” says Musgrove. “She ran up to her father and said ‘Daddy! I got a coin for doing science!’ I wanted to say, ‘Sweetie, you can make a whole career out of science!’”
“We want kids to see that science is fun, not intimidating,” she concludes, “for all ages.”
• Dissect a variety of animals to see how they are different
• Clean up a frog habitat to protect the animals that live there
• Practice performing a physical on a (stuffed) animal
• Participate in a behavioral training session
• Create a dance to communicate like a bee
• Design a research station to help the island fox
• Use a “Jacobson’s organ” to learn about surrounding areas
The community partners also presenting activities include:
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• UCSB’s Mobile Reef Unit
• UCSB’s Materials Research Lab
• Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
• Ocean Futures Society
• UCSB’s Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships
• Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network
• Bishop Diego Garcia High School Engineering Academy
Teachers Receive Free Admission, Downloadable Classroom Activities
The Zoo has developed this “wild” curriculum to aid teachers in making science exciting for their students. Teachers who pre-register receive free admission for themselves and their families to Science Day. All of the activities presented are tied to the California Learning Standards and suitable for the use in the classroom.
“We’re exploring topics from the sea to the stars,” adds Katie Holder, School and Community Programs Coordinator, “there’s something of interest for kids and teachers of all grade levels.”
Classroom versions of all of the activities will be available to teachers via download.