Make the Zoo your Campus!

I have always liked the idea of going to school. At the beginning of every new school year, I was always excited about learning new things, getting a new lunch box, and finding out what my friends had been doing all summer. I was less excited about getting re-acquainted with shoes, but the fact that the shoes were new seemed to make those leather and canvas burdens easier to tolerate.

Every year, there I’d be, waiting patiently at the end of our driveway for the big cheese to wisk me away to my first day back at school, when I’d suddenly realize that for the next 9.5 months, I’d have no say in what I was going to be taught. Oh, man, they were going to teach me history and I’d have to sit still. I couldn’t eat first lunch at 10 and second lunch at noon. No, I was going to be a captive. Maybe I’d get lucky and contract the Peruvian Brain Measels.

By the time the big cheese stopped at my driveway, I felt like an all-out idiot for ever having been excited about school. In retrospect, it was the learning I was interested in, not the schooling.

Luckily, those days are behind me. The Zoo is my campus now, and the thousands of plant and animal species surrounding me are my teachers – and they’ve never ordered me to be still.

Today, instructed by this plethora of plants and animals of every shape, size, and color you can imagine, I am perfectly embedded in a living classroom where a guy would have to try not to learn. For anyone within driving distance to the Zoo, and especially area teachers, this is great news because we believe in sharing this educational goodness. That’s why we partnered with Project Dragonfly at Miami University to bring you Zoo Expeditions, a suite of graduate-level courses focusing on topics such as Plants & People, Primate Behavior & Conservation, and Habitats, Adaptations, & Evolution.

Zoo Expeditions provide exciting thematic content and help area educators develop the skills they need to be successful inquiry-based educators. Whether you’re a certified K-12 teacher, a public educator working in a nature center, or someone who’s simply hoping to become more involved with community education, you will practice your scientific investigation skills while surrounded by the Zoo’s spectacular array of plants and animals.

So, if you’re anything like me and like learning without being schooled, then give Zoo Expeditions a try. Registration starts in July, and the first class starts in September. Once you fall in love with learning at the Zoo, you can then transfer your Zoo Expedition credits into the Advanced Inquiry Program, and work your way towards a Master of Arts in Teaching Biological Science (MAT) or a Master of Arts in Zoology (MA).

Come on – Make the Zoo your Campus. I swear you’ll never have to step foot on a bus.