Welcome to Wilder Institute Calgary Zoo School Programs!

The perfect place to bring curriculum to life.


On-site and virtual programming dates available October 2021 - February 2022.

Spring 2022 programs on sale November 8, 2021.


VIRTUAL PROGRAMS

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


ON-SITE PROGRAM INFORMATION

We are prepared to safely engage you in our on-site school programs. 

Effective November 15, 2021, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo will require all visitors 12 years of age and older to provide proof of one of the following 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. A friendly reminder that mask wear is required for ages 2+ inside all animal buildings, washrooms, retail and food spaces.

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

  • Teachers bringing classes with students age 12 and over will need to attest, in writing, that all students meet the criteria outlined above prior to arrival onsite. If you are able to provide this, please notify us at [email protected] and we will send you the necessary form.  
  • Teachers bringing classes with students under the age of 12 do not need to provide any additional information or documentation for the students. 
  • 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.  
  • Additional measures such as: mandatory masking in all indoor spaces and encouraged social distancing are still in effect.  
  • Please refer to your board’s policies on accessing sites requiring proof of vaccination.    

 

ON-SITE PROGRAMS

  • Elementary Programs

     PENGUIN PALOOZA

    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. 

    Grade: K-2 Length: 60 Mins   Cost: $225 January - March
                                                             $280 April - June

    BEAR NECESSITIES

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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.

    Grade: K-2 Length: 60 Mins   Cost: $225 January - March
                                                             $280 April - June

    ON GOSSAMER WINGS

    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)

    Grade: K-2 Length: 60 Mins   Cost: $280 April - June

    GREEN AND GORGEOUS

    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

    Grade: 4 Length: 60 Mins   Cost: $280 April - June

    THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

    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?” 

    Grade: 3-6 Length: 90 Mins   Cost: $225 January - March
                                                            $280 April - June

    EDU-TREK: ASIA

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    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. 

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $225 September - March
                                                                $280 April - June

    EDU-TREK: CANADIAN WILDS

    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. 

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $225 September - March
                                                                $280 April - June

    EDU-TREK: PLANT SAFARI

    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.

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $280 May - June

    EDU-TREK: AFRICA

    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.

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $225 September - March
                                                                $280 April

  • Secondary Programs

    INTERACTIONS AND ECOSYSTEMS

    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.   

    Grade: 7 Length: 4 hours  Cost: $350 September - March
                                                        $360 April

    BIODIVERSITY

    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.

    Grade: 9  Length: 4 hours  Cost: $350 September - March
                                                        $360 April

    CHANGES

    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.

    Grade: 11 Length: 4 hours  Cost: $350 September - March
                                                         $360 April

    BIOMES

    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.  

    Grade: 10-12 Length: 4 hrs   Cost: $350 January - March
                                                            $360 April

    KEYERA BIOLOGY 30, POPULATION AND COMMUNITY DYNAMICS

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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.

    Grades: 11-12  Length: 4 hours  Cost: $350 September - March
                                                                 $360 April 

    EDU-TREK: ASIA

    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. 

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $225 September - March
                                                                $280 April - June

    EDU-TREK: CANADIAN WILDS

    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. 

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $225 September - March
                                                                $280 April - June

    EDU-TREK: PLANT SAFARI

    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.

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $280 May - June

    EDU-TREK: AFRICA

    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.

    Grades: K-12  Length: 75 mins  Cost: $225 September - March
                                                                $280 April

*On-site programs are subject to change.

 

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   

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Vermilion Energy logo

THE VERMILION ENERGY EMPTY BACKPACK PROGRAM

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.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

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

SCHOOL PROGRAMS FAQS