On-site, in school and virtual programming dates available now.


Update: COVID-19 - Enhanced Public Health Measures

We are prepared to safely engage you in our on-site school programs. Our enhanced public health measures pertaining to school groups are outlined below. Please note that these policies are subject to change based on new guidelines/mandates or site-specific needs. 

In compliance with the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP), “Students in K-12 are not required to be fully vaccinated to participate in curriculum activities. School groups accessing facilities under REP (for the purposes of K-12 curriculum) are not required to be screened as part of REP.” Students in K-12 attending a Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo registered education program will not be required to provide proof of vaccination, either in-person or via a teacher-signed declaration prior to arrival.

Accompanying teachers and chaperones will still be required to provide proof of one of the following, in-person, before being permitted entry:

  • Alberta government-issued QR code (either paper or digital) proving COVID-19 double vaccination (with the second dose received two (2) weeks or more prior to date of attendance);
    • Valid identification that matches the vaccine record is required for adults 18 years and over.
    • First Nation, out-of-province and Canadian Armed Forces vaccine records are accepted proofs of vaccination, as is the ArriveCan app and valid international travel identity document.
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the previous 72 hours prior to entrance (either PCR or Rapid Test); or
  • Valid proof of medical exemption.

Those who are unable to show proof of one of the items listed above will be denied entry. Any school arriving with a bulk ticket purchase or as homeschoolers and are not registered in a Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo registered education program will be subject to the day visitor entrance requirements outlined above for all guests ages 12 and older.

What this means for school program clients wishing to continue with their pre-registered onsite program: 

  • Students K-12 will not be required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival or via a pre-submitted signed declaration.

  • All teachers and accompanying parent chaperones will need to meet the criteria outline above and will be asked to provide proof upon arrival at the North entrance as well as personal identification. This is required regardless of the age of the participating students.  

  • Mandatory masking is still required for ages 2+ inside all animal buildings, washrooms, retail and food spaces. Encouraged social distancing is still in effect.

  • Students aged 12 – 17 participating in a Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo education program will be will be able to access on-site cafes for take-out only as per the REP and will therefore be assigned a designated lunch classroom instead to consume their lunch if eating outdoors is not possible. We encourage all students in this age group to consider bringing their lunch if possible. Please note we do not have access to a microwave or refrigerator in these classrooms.

  • Classes with students who are 11 and 12 years old will be provided a designated lunch classroom to ensure everyone has an indoor eating option when eating outdoors is not possible.

  • Refer to your board’s policies on accessing sites requiring proof of vaccination.

  • The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has completed the CBE certificate of compliance on COVID-19 vaccinations for contractors and on-site partners.    


ON-SITE PROGRAM INFORMATION

Immerse yourself in our 120 acre living classroom. On-site school programs are designed with grade specific learner outcomes and they all include a variety of curriculum-connected activities designed to spark curiosity, initiate dialogue and help bring concepts to life.


IN SCHOOL PROGRAM INFORMATION

The zoo is going back to school! From January 17 - March 17 our conservations education team will be delivering curriculum-based programs in-school every Tuesday and Thursday. Armed with hands-on artefacts, interactive lesson plans and topical tour footage, our educators can deliver select programs for grades k-12.

Program Information:

  • In school programs are available to be booked Tuesdays and Thursdays January 17 - March 17, 2022
  • Out of town mileage surcharge will be applied to schools outside of Calgary city limits.
  • Elementary programs default booking is full day (3 consecutive programs offered at one location on the same day). For half-day (2 consecutive programs offered at one location on the same day), select your program and date and note this preference on your booking form. 
  • Secondary programs (Biodiversity, Interactions and Ecosystems) default booking is in pairs with two classes receiving concurrent programs at one location on the same day. For one class only, select your program and date and note this preference on your booking form.
  • Bio 30 is only offered for a single class at a time on any given day. 

For more information, please visit SCHOOL PROGRAMS FAQS 


PROGRAM MENU

*programs are subject to change.

  • Elementary Programs

    BEAR NECESSITIES

    • Grade: K-2
    • Length: 60 Mins
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:45 pm
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    Rodin Law Firm

    How does a wild bear find food, water and shelter? Using their senses and detective skills, students figure out how bears meet their needs, and what we can all do to help them. This lively program involves interactive role-playing and costumes.

     

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School January - March (3 programs): $575 January - March (2 programs): $500

    GREEN AND GORGEOUS

    • Grade: 4 
    • Length: 60 Mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:45 pm

    Learning about plants and botany is an adventure at the Calgary Zoo. Through hands-on activities and time spent in the ENMAX Conservatory, we’ll discover what makes a plant a plant and look at the many ways the lives of humans and plants are intertwined. It’s the perfect experience for budding botanists

    On-Site April - June: $280
    In School Not Available

    ON GOSSAMER WINGS

    • Grade: K-2
    • Length: 60 Mins
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:45 pm

    The journey from caterpillar to chrysalis/cacoon to butterfly/moth has been travelled in many classrooms. Take learning about butterflies and moths to a whole new level in this lively program at the Calgary Zoo. Special interactive science stations and an exploratory tour through our spectacular butterfly garden make learning fun. (This is a seasonal program offered only when butterflies are in residence at the zoo)

    On-Site April - June: $280
    In School Not Available

    PENGUIN PALOOZA

    • Grade: K-2
    • Length: 60 Mins
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:45 pm

    Everyone loves penguins and learning about their fascinating behaviours brings science to life. Students will learn about penguins by handling artifacts, dressing up a student as a penguin, playing a calling game and more. They will then be ready to visit the Penguin Plunge at their leisure. 

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School January - March (3 programs): $575 January - March (2 programs): $500

    THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

    • Grade: 3-6
    • Length:
      • 90 Mins (on-site) 
      • 60 Mins (in-school)
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    The One and Only Ivan is a novel by K.A. Applegate, about a silverback gorilla named Ivan who lives in a small cage in a mall for 9855 days and ponders his place in the world. The story is based on a real gorilla named Ivan who lived alone in a shopping centre for 27 years. Through images of the real Ivan and quotes from the fictional one, as well as interactions with biofacts and observations of live gorillas, we will explore the themes of this novel and ask ourselves, “Is it okay to keep wild animals in captivity?” 

    Students should be familiar with the story of Ivan. Ideally classes have competed the novel, the short story book, or have watched the film. This program contains spoilers!

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School January - March (3 programs): $575 January - March (2 programs): $500

    EDU-TREK: AFRICA

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    Investigate the unique animals of the African savannah and rainforest. Species observed may include: meerkat, hippopotamus, giraffe, lion, zebra, lemur, Malagasy boas, dwarf crocodiles, black & white colobus monkeys, western lowland gorilla.

    On-Site January - March: $225 April: $280
    In School Not Available 

    EDU-TREK: ASIA

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm
    Image
    PetroChina Canada

    Discover the spectacular animals that call Asia home. On this walking safari, explore predator-prey relationships, social dynamics, adaptations for extreme environments, and human impacts. Animals observed may include Amur tigers, Malayan tapir, white-handed gibbons, red pandas, snow leopards, Japanese macaques, and Bactrian camels. 

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School Not Available 

    EDU-TREK: CANADIAN WILDS

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    Explore the amazing animals that inhabit the wilds around us. Species observed may include: bighorn sheep, mountain goats, snowy owl, woodland caribou, wood bison, whooping crane, grey wolf, grizzly bear, black bear, cougar. 

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School Not Available 

    EDU-TREK: PLANT SAFARI

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    Come and discover some of the wonders of our native plants. Using samples to look at different parts of the plants, we will explore their different uses. Studying the full plant we will see if we can identify any other plants or animals that live in the same surroundings. Probing the interconnectedness of life, we will uncover the importance of trees and forest to all life.

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School Not Available 
  • Secondary Programs

    BIODIVERSITY

    • Grade: 9 
    • Length:
      • 4 hours (on-site) 
      • 3 hours (in-school)
    • On-site program time:        10:00 am  

    Biological diversity is essential to maintaining healthy populations. Diversity within a species increases resilience and diversity among species fosters efficient ecosystems. Throughout the day we will look at three different levels of biodiversity: genetic diversity (within a species), species diversity and ecosystem diversity. Students will explore structural and behavioural adaptations and discuss the success and limitations of human involvement in continuing captive species through breeding programs and genetic analysis.

    On-Site January - March: $350 April : $360
    In School January - March (1 program): $350 January - March (2 programs): $600

    KEYERA BIOLOGY 30, POPULATION AND COMMUNITY DYNAMICS

    • Grades: 11-12 
    • Length:
      • 4 hours (on-site)
      • 3 hours (in-school)
    • On-site program time:        10:00 am  
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    Keyera Logo

    This program explores the concepts of population and community dynamics through the lens of conservation. Students will examine the concepts of biological and genetic diversity in our animals as well as the many challenges we face in conservation work and how they relate to what they are learning in class.

    On-Site January - March: $350 April : $360
    In School January - March (1 program): $350  

    BIOMES

    • Grades: 10-12 
    • Length: 4 hours 
    • On-site program time:        10:00 am 

    Students will analyze three distinctive biomes: tropical rainforest, savannah, and ocean. By measuring the ambient conditions and exploring the animals and plants that are present in the Calgary Zoo’s TransAlta Rainforest, African Savannah, and Penguin Plunge buildings, students will understand how climate affects life in specific regions. Students will explore animal adaptations in 3 forest biomes in Rainforest, Gateway to Asia, and the Canadian Wilds.  

    On-Site January - March: $350 April : $360
    In School Not Available 

    CHANGES

    • Grades: 11 
    • Length: 4 hours 
    • On-site program time:        10:00 am 

    The concepts of adaptation, classification, evolution and speciation are brought to life through the observation of primates, the comparison of skulls and a couple of games, one of which will be outside in one of the sections of the zoo.

    On-Site January - March: $350 April : $360
    In School Not Available 

    INTERACTIONS AND ECOSYSTEMS

    • Grades: 7 
    • Length:
      • 4 hours (on-site) 
      • 3 hours (in-school)
    • On-site program time:        10:00 am 

    The interactions that take place between biotic and abiotic factors within an ecosystem are vital to its success, as every species has a niche or role to play. But what happens when the delicate balance is disturbed? Students will explore the idea of animals becoming extinct and the impact this would have on their ecosystems. By building eco-webs to link together a variety of biotic and abiotic factors, they will investigate interdependency and the importance of conservation.   

    On-Site January - March: $350 April : $360
    In School January - March (1 program): $350 January - March (2 programs): $600

    EDU-TREK: AFRICA

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    Investigate the unique animals of the African savannah and rainforest. Species observed may include: meerkat, hippopotamus, giraffe, lion, zebra, lemur, Malagasy boas, dwarf crocodiles, black & white colobus monkeys, western lowland gorilla.

    On-Site January - March: $225 April: $280
    In School Not Available 

    EDU-TREK: ASIA

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm
    Image
    PetroChina Canada

    Discover the spectacular animals that call Asia home. On this walking safari, explore predator-prey relationships, social dynamics, adaptations for extreme environments, and human impacts. Animals observed may include Amur tigers, Malayan tapir, white-handed gibbons, red pandas, snow leopards, Japanese macaques, and Bactrian camels. 

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School Not Available 

    EDU-TREK: CANADIAN WILDS

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    Explore the amazing animals that inhabit the wilds around us. Species observed may include: bighorn sheep, mountain goats, snowy owl, woodland caribou, wood bison, whooping crane, grey wolf, grizzly bear, black bear, cougar. 

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School Not Available 

    EDU-TREK: PLANT SAFARI

    • Grades: K-12 
    • Length: 75 mins 
    • On-site program times:        10:00 am,  12:00 pm

    Come and discover some of the wonders of our native plants. Using samples to look at different parts of the plants, we will explore their different uses. Studying the full plant we will see if we can identify any other plants or animals that live in the same surroundings. Probing the interconnectedness of life, we will uncover the importance of trees and forest to all life.

    On-Site January - March: $225 April - June: $280
    In School Not Available 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES

Are you looking to enhance classroom lessons with a virtual component? Let us bring the zoo to you! Our suite of dynamic, curricular-connected virtual experiences bring our plant and animal colleagues into your learning space. 

Virtual Safari: Join an expert conservation educator for an interactive tour through one of our zoo regions. 5 themes to choose from!
Grades: K-12  Length: up to 60 minutes  Cost: $125

Virtual Voyage: Join two of our expert conservation educators for an engaging zoo-wide educational experience including animal encounters. 4 themes to choose from!
Grades: K-6 Length: up to 75 minutes  Cost: $225

Click on the Virtual Experiences button to learn more and book.

Virtual EXPERIENCES


MAKE A RESERVATION 

If you are interested in one of our on-site programs, please contact us by clicking the button below. Programs must be booked two weeks before your program date. Questions prior to your booking? Contact our school programs team below and we'd be happy to help you.

 Book now   

Contact Us now   

THE VERMILION ENERGY EMPTY BACKPACK PROGRAM
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Vermilion Energy logo
The Vermilion Energy Empty Backpack program ensures vulnerable students in Calgary have the chance to experience the zoo’s unique education programs. For 2021-2022 we have two streams of funding available to allow grades K-12 from equity schools to participate. Inquire at the time of booking for more details on how your students can benefit from this opportunity for onsite, in-school or virtual programming.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about our programming and information on how we are adapting our school programs for COVID-19.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS FAQS