Posted on 04/16/2019 at 06:51 AM by Blog Experts

The Blank Park Zoo would once again like to invite educators to professional development opportunities that will be held at Blank Park Zoo and two other locations on the dates listed below.  The workshops are good for one hour of license renewal credit.

Participants in our workshops engage in relevant inquiry investigations that are connected to the Iowa Core and Next Generation Science Standards, learn research-based instructional practices, and gain knowledge and ideas that will be useful in their classrooms. Lessons are flexible, allowing teachers to adjust for their students’ abilities; and relate to all age groups in several subject areas (science, literacy, mathematics, social studies, and the arts). 

 By attending one or more of these workshops, teachers will be eligible to schedule a free classroom animal program.  Our education department is willing and able to travel to districts across the state with our classroom programs (animals included!). Our classroom programs are connected to the Iowa Core in Science may be also adjusted to meet social studies or language standards or other curriculum needs of individual classrooms.

Workshop Descriptions:

Lamarck, and Wallace, and Darwin – Oh, my! (New Course!) – Evolution is the foundation for modern biological understanding and has a prominent place in the Iowa Core for science and the Next Generation Science Standards.  In this course, educators will examine major evolutionary concepts, misconceptions about evolution, and how to address obstacles to teaching evolution.

Wild Genes – Participants explore genetic diversity in plants and animals, learn about the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program, and meet some families of animals here at the zoo.  While genetics content is generally presented in middle and high school, we will be showing how concepts at the elementary level articulate to upper grades. Activities will focus on grades 3-12.

Pollinators: Birds do it; Bees do it...and so do Lemurs and Lizards! – This course will explore plants and the animals that pollinate them.  Participants will engage in explorations about bees, butterflies and other animal pollinators and their importance in our lives; interrelationships in ecosystems; agricultural engineering; and ways to help protect our pollinator species.

Cost: $25.00 to help cover materials and meals, payable to Blank Park Zoo online; plus AEA credit fees (information regarding AEA registration will be sent to participants prior to each class).

Included in workshop: Meals (breakfast and lunch both days); materials for teachers to utilize in their classrooms, and an opportunity to schedule a free classroom visit or program at the zoo.

Summer workshops will run from 8:30-5:00 both days

Summer 2019 Classes And Locations:

June 10/11 – Lamarck and Wallace and Darwin, Oh My!: Evolution for Educators.  Swan lake State Park Conservation Education Center, Carroll, Iowa

June 17/18 – Lamarck and Wallace and Darwin, Oh My!; F. W. Kent Park, Oxford, Iowa

July 9/10 – Wild Genes.  Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines, Iowa

July 16/17 – Pollinators: Birds do it, Bees do it; and so do Lemurs and Lizards!  Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines, Iowa

Registration forms may be found on the zoo website – under Education/Just for Teachers.  They may be submitted electronically.

Participants should contact Kathy McKee at 515-974-2557 or if they have any questions.

We look forward to working with you!

Kathy McKee

K-12 Education Coordinator, Blank Park Zoo


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