These – and many other – questions are answered at the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Science Day, which offers all new activities this year. Families are invited to enjoy the hands-on fun, which is free with admission. Teachers of preschool to 8th grade can discover new ideas for use in the classroom. Educators and their families are admitted free with advance registration by September 23 (email Science Day is Saturday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The goal is to get teachers, moms, dads, and kids excited about science,” says Desiree Rogers, Animal Programming Coordinator. “Science is not just about reading a text book or using a microscope, it’s about hands-on exploration and having 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 kids completing each activity. Related keeper talks and animal encounters are held throughout the day. Educators are also eligible for a special raffle to win science-related educational materials.

Activities and Participants

Activities are all new this year. Participants can:

Use a microscope to look at samples of bacteria

Learn first-hand how scientists track condors in the wild

Map how far an elephant walks in one day

“Dress up” like an animal does for changing seasons

Create a diet for the Zoo’s gorillas

Test soil, water, and air quality to design an animal habitat

Use animal “teeth” to crush food

Discover how much an elephant weighs

Learn why animals live in different places

Combine sounds to make music

Find out what tools the Zoo uses for keeping animals healthy

And much more

The community partners also presenting activities include:

La Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network

UCSB’s Materials Research Lab

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History & Ty Warner Sea Center

Bishop Garcia Diego High School

UCSB’s Physics Circus

Looking Glass Preschool

Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

Other partners to be announced

Teachers Receive Free Admission

The Zoo has developed this “wild” curriculum to aid teachers in making science exciting for their students. Teachers who pre-register (email by September 23) 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 want kids and teachers to discover that science is fun and can happen in their backyard, kitchen, classroom or anywhere they happen to be!” adds Rogers.


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