Education

Zoo virtual Programs

Join the Topeka Zoo for virtual learning opportunities! Scroll down this page to "Available Programs" and pick out a theme you'd like. We can modify it to your classroom, time limits, and needs. Don't see a theme you're looking for? We can create something new for you too! All lessons will be filmed live with audiences.

virtual class options & Pricing

  • 30-minute class: Meet three Topeka Zoo education animals for a 25-minute lesson and 5 minutes for audience questions. Class can be NGSS curriculum-focused. Cost: $70
  • 60-minute class: Meet five Topeka Zoo education animals for a 50-minute lesson and 10 minutes for audience questions. Class can be NGSS curriculum-focused. Cost: $95
  • 30-minute behind-the-scenes tour: Choose one larger Topeka Zoo animal, see their enclosure, and learn all about them! Cost: $70
  • 60-minute behind-the-scenes tour: Choose two different, larger Topeka Zoo animals, see their enclosures, and learn all about them! Cost: $95
  • 60-minute zoo tour: Join Topeka Zoo Education Staff as they walk you through the zoo to see what the animals are up to! Cost: $95

Maximum participation is 100 participants. All virtual programs must be scheduled between 8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday.

For more information or to schedule a virtual program, contact our education department at (785) 368-9137 or rrost@topeka.org.

Zoo in-person Education Programs

Topeka Zoo offers a variety of educational programs to complement your classroom curriculum. Programs are offered in one- or two-hour blocks.

COVID-19 Update: The zoo is still offering classes in-person, with a few restrictions:

  • Class size must stay within the Shawnee County Group Guidelines indoors.
  • Zoo staff will stay within 6 feet of all guests.
  • Individuals 10 and older are required to wear a mask indoors.
  • No touching of animals or biofacts.

in-person class Pricing

  • One-Hour Programs hosted at the Zoo - $75
  • Two-Hour Programs (zoo only) - $145 flat fee for groups of 29 or less; $5/person for groups of 30 or more.
  • Any additional consecutive programs after the first hour are $35 for a half hour and $75 for an hour. You may not book a program for less than an hour.
  • There is an additional $35 fee for weekend and evening (after 5:00pm) programs.

For more information or to schedule a program, contact our education department at (785) 368-9137 or rrost@topeka.org.

Zoo2U Programs

Let us transform your classroom, library, retirement center, or organization meeting into an exotic encounter with our Zoo2U program. Zoo2U programs include a presentation, educational games, interaction with a live animal, and discussions related to a specific animal or zoo topic.

COVID-19 Update: The zoo is still offering Zoo2U classes, with a few restrictions:

  • Class size must stay within the Shawnee County Group Guidelines indoors.
  • Zoo staff will stay within 6 feet of all guests.
  • Individuals 10 and older are required to wear a mask indoors.
  • No touching of animals or biofacts

Our animal visitors can include:

  • A variety of invertebrates–including tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes, and more!
  • A variety of reptiles and amphibians–including several frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, tortoises, and an alligator!
  • Several small mammals–such as a skunk, an opossum, an armadillo, and a hedgehog! 
  • Birds of prey–including a screech owl, turkey vulture, and hawk!

Pricing:

Zoo2U is $115 for an hour-long program. Any additional consecutive programs after the first hour are $35 for a half hour and $75 for an hour. You may not book a program for less than an hour. Travel outside of the Topeka City limits will incur an additional charge for gas.

There is an additional $35 fee for weekend and evening (after 5:00pm) programs.


To schedule a Zoo2U visit, contact our Education Department at 785-368-9137 or RRost@Topeka.org!

Field Trips

Bring your crew to the zoo!

Enjoy a day of education and fun at the Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center. The zoo is easily walkable and accessible to groups of all ages. We offer plenty of spaces to meet and classroom experience.

  • Groups of 15 or more are eligible for group rates.
  • Must register 48 hours in advance of your trip.
  • Full admission must be paid before entering.
  • No outside food or drinks.
  • Box lunches are available with advance notice.

Fill out a group discount form here or call 785-368-9161 to schedule your trip.  To schedule an education program please call 785-368-9137.

Available programs

1 Hour

2 Hour

Don't see what you are looking for? No problem! Our Education Department can adapt your desired curriculum into a program.

Monarch Butterfly Virtual Education Class

Monarch butterfly populations have declined by close to 90% in the last few decades. These beautiful insects migrate through Kansas during the last two weeks of September and we are waiting for them! Join to Topeka Zoo as we offer virtual education classes on the monarchs, as well as free, public tagging opportunities.

How does it work? If interested, you’re welcome to book a 30-minute live virtual education class on monarch butterflies. This interactive program teaches students about monarch butterflies, their ecology, migration, importance, and conservation status. This class can be modified for K-12 classrooms, as well as scout groups or any other interested parties.

When: Any Monday-Friday from September 14th-30, 2020. Choose any time between 8:00-4:00 daily, as we are flexible to your schedule!

Cost: The virtual class cost is $70 and the capacity is one entire grade level per school. (Example: all third grade classrooms from one school can join the class for $70; however, if another grade level is interested then they would book a separate session with a separate fee). Please email me back here or call 785-368-9137 to set up a virtual class.

While this virtual class does not include tagging, please see the section below on free, public classes that the zoo is providing. Students, teaching staff, and families are invited to join one of these opportunities! Additionally, if your organization is interested in booking a private tagging opportunity for a small fee, please contact me directly. Please note, you do NOT have to book a virtual class to attend the free tagging events. They complement each other; however, you’re welcome to just attend the tagging if you’d like.

In-Field Monarch Butterfly Tagging Opportunities: For the sixth year in a row, the Kansas Museum of History and Topeka Zoo have teamed up for the monarch butterfly migration! We want you to join us for FREE monarch tagging classes that are open to the public.

These classes are held at the Kansas Museum of History and are fun for the whole family! Each class will be from 5:30pm-7:30pm. The first portion of the class is a quick 10-15 minute presentation/demonstration on monarch butterfly migration, conservation, and how to catch them. Then, guests are invited to help us catch, tag, and release as many monarchs as we can! The zoo will provide supplies for all participants, although you’re welcome to bring a net too if you have one. Please meet at the Kansas Museum of History main parking lot. Each class has a maximum capacity of 45 participants.

The dates are below:

Saturday, September 19th

Tuesday, September 22nd

Thursday, September 24th

Monday, September 28th

Wednesday, September 30th

Pre-registration is required for every individual (adults and children alike) attending the event. To pre-register, please visit: https://store.topekazoo.org/#/SpecialEvents.

The entire class will be held outdoors, so please dress accordingly. Closed-toed shoes and long pants are recommended for this event.

Teacher Professional Development Opportunity

National Geographic Education Certification: Phase 1 Workshop

Join the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center as they offer a unique professional development opportunity partnering with National Geographic! The Topeka Zoo is hosting a workshop for area educators to complete Phase 1 of National Geographic's Educator Certification Program. Upon completion of the Phase 1 in-person, educators are then invited to complete Phases 2 and 3 online.

By completing this Educator Certification Program, you gain access to National Geographic's online educator community to network and share resources with thousands of educators around the world! Only through certification do you have the opportunity to apply to the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship, a life-changing professional development opportunity involving a 10-14 day expedition. Finally, you will be part of the National Geographic network and may be asked to partner with them for other opportunities! Your administrators will be notified of your completion of the Educator Certification Program.

The workshop will be led by the Topeka Zoo's Education Specialist, Rachael Rost. Rachael is a 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, a certified National Geographic facilitator, and a member of National Geographic's Kansas Advisory Council. She has been teaching at the zoo for six years.

Date and Time: Winter 2020 at the Topeka Zoo (We are doing the exact same workshop twice this day--once in the morning and again in the afternoon. You can sign up for either session.) DATE TBD.
Cost: Free! Includes admission into the zoo as well.
Who is this for: PreK-12 formal and informal educators, pre-service teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and more!
Questions? Contact Rachael at 785-368-9137 or rrost@topeka.org. Also visit the National Geographic Educator Certification Program website for Frequently Asked Questions. Pre-registration is required. 

Preschool Zoo Time

A special program designed for preschool age children ages 2-5. The program includes a story, live animal encounter, and craft.

DATES: First Friday of the month, March-November

TIME: 10:30-11:00 a.m.

LOCATION: Gary K. Clarke Education Center

COST: $2 per child. Requires paid Zoo admission

Parents are admitted free to Preschool Zoo Time with paid Zoo admission.

Registration is not required.

The 2020 Preschool Classes are cancelled due to COVID-19. We hope to start again in March 2021.

March 6; April 3 (cancelled); May 1 (cancelled); June 5 (cancelled); July 3 (cancelled); August 7 (cancelled); September 4; October 2; November 6

Evening Educational Classes

Join the Topeka Zoo as we launch evening educational classes that are fun for the whole family! Each class will feature a live animal presentation and an activity or craft.  Classes are for all ages and open to the general public.

TIME & CAPACITY: 6:00-7:30pm; 24 person maximum/class.

DATES: 2nd  Wednesday of the month

September 9th: Grossology

October 14th: The World of Reptiles

November 11th: All About Amphibians

December 9th: The Secret Life of Owls

LOCATION: Gary K. Clarke Education Classroom; Activity may be outside so please dress appropriately. 

REGISTRATION: Online here: https://store.topekazoo.org/#/Education

Registration and payment are required for all individuals attending the class, regardless of age. At least one adult is required to attend with their student(s).

COST: FOTZ Members: $6.00*/person/class; Non-members: $8.00*/person/class (*Admission to the zoo not required.)

REFUND POLICY: For a full refund, class registration must be cancelled 48 hours in advance of your class time.  Any cancellation within 48 hours or less will not receive a refund. Email RRost@Topeka.org to cancel.

Discovery Homeschool Program

This program is designed to provide an in-depth and personal encounter with science concepts, vocabulary, and interactions with the zoo. The first hour will feature a PowerPoint presentation and live animal encounter, while the second hour will be highlighted by an activity or craft.  These classes are adapted to all grade levels and open to the general public.

DATES: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month*, see below for exact dates and themes. (*exception of March & October: will be 4th Wed.)

SESSIONS: Please choose one: Morning from 9am-11am; Afternoon from 1pm-3pm; Same class each session, with 24 person max/class.

LOCATION: Gary K. Clarke Education Classroom; Activity may be outside so please dress appropriately. 

REGISTRATION: Online here: https://store.topekazoo.org/#/Education

Registration and payment are required for all individuals attending the class, regardless of age. At least one adult is required to attend with their student(s).

COST: FOTZ Members: $6.00*/person/class; Non-members: $8.00*/person/class (*Admission to the zoo not included in class price.)

REFUND POLICY: For a full refund, class registration must be cancelled 48 hours in advance of your class time.  Any cancellation within 48 hours or less will not receive a refund. Email RRost@Topeka.org to cancel.

Scout Workshops

Earn a badge at the Topeka Zoo!

Girl Scouts

Daisy Workshops: 5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals

Brownie Workshops: Wonders of Water Journey; Bugs Badge; Senses Badge

Junior Workshops: Animal Habitats Badge; Gardner Badge

Cadette Workshops: Night Owl Badge; Animal Helpers Badge; Trees Badge

Senior Workshops: Voice for Animals Badge

Ambassador Workshops: Water Badge

Boy Scouts

Bird Study Badge

Environmental Science Badge

Fish and Wildlife Management Badge

Insect Study Badge

Mammal Study Badge

Nature Badge

Reptiles and Amphibians Badge

Pricing for scout workshops:

- One-hour live animal education program at the zoo: $75

- One-hour live animal education program at your facility: $115

- Two-hour class at the zoo (1st hour is a live animal education program and 2nd hour fulfills the requirements of the badge): $145 flat fee for groups of 29 or less; $5/person for groups of 30 or more. This cost applies to ALL guests, including scouts, troop leaders, parents, and additional siblings/guests.
- There is an additional $35 fee for weekend and evening (after 5:00pm) programs.

- Travel outside of the Topeka City limits will incur an additional charge for gas.

 

Classes at the zoo do NOT include zoo admission. Paid admission required to tour the zoo.

To book a program, please contact the Education Department at 785-368-9137 or RRost@Topeka.org.