The Bronx Zoo also hosts an educational summer camp
for elementary school
children. While attending the camp, students learn about ecology, exotic animals, and world cultures. Each day, a different part of the zoo is explored, and students get to play games and solve "treasure hunts
" that are centred on different animals. For example, when we studied gorillas, we got a sheet of paper depicting common gorilla
behaviours, and we were supposed to mark how many times we saw a gorilla perform the behaviours and whther they were male or female. Or, when we studied nocturnal creatures in the World of Night
(yes, that's the name of the building), we were split into teams, and we were given clues with which to find certain animals, and we would come back for another clue when we discovered which creature they meant. Fantastic stuff. Anyway, one of the days was devoted to learning to care for animals, so I got to shovel camel shit
for a few hours. Not too bad, but not somethig I'd want to do every day. On the last night of the camp, we would stay overnight at the zoo, in the education building. This sleepover included some National Geographic
style movies, treasure hunts in the dark, and lessons on how to count spiders
by their "eye-shine". (eye shine is the reflection of light off the retina. it's why people get red eyes in pictures.) One of the years that I was there, we put frozen rubber snakes in the counsellor's sleeping bag.
All in all, a great idea, and a way to get kids to *want* to learn.