Teacher Resources

​​​​​​​​​​​Field Investigations 

These engaging and educational programs offer students the chance to delve deeper on their Zoo visits. With two investigation options available, kids can look at zoo exhibit design or immerse themselves in animal observations and ethograms. Both programs include activities before, during and after your Field Trip. Learn more about these topics:

• Ethograms and Animal Behavior​

• ​Zoo Exhibit Design​

Education Kits 

Our education kits are designed to engage and educate students with hands-on activities focusing on animals here at the Zoo and around the world. Popular with both full-time teachers and parents who home school their children, these science kits include a teacher's manual, books, artifacts, activities and more.

Education kits may be rented for two weeks for a $10 rental fee. Kits are to be picked up and returned at the Zoo’s Hix Institute between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Education Kit Topics

  • Orangutan Kit: Students will explore the world of orangutans and discover how they can make a difference in the conservation of these special primates.

  • Nature Tales: Combines literature and science to connect young learners to the wonders of nature.

  • Elephant Kit: Guide students as they learn all about one of the world's largest animals.

  • Polar Animals Kit: Explore the world of polar animals with your students as they learn about adaptations, habitats and conservation.

  • Sensory Kit: Students will use their senses to investigate the animal world.

  • Snake Kit: Take students on journey to discover the fascinating world of snakes.

  • Indiana Wildlife Kit: Think locally with Indiana conservation project based learning.

  • Conservation Kit: Bring conservation to your classroom by exploring the relationship between endangered species and the wildlife trade. 

  • Amphibians & Reptiles Kit: Dive into the world of herpetofauna with your students and explore life cycles, special adaptations, and conservation. [close]

Reserve Your Kit Today!​

An Educator’s Adventure to Costa Rica: A Showcase of Conservation

July 11-19, 2018 • Cost: $2,796

Double Occupancy, registration by May 7. Airfare is not included but can be added for additional costs. Airfare should not be booked until trip is confirmed.

Join the Indianapolis Zoo on an adventure of a lifetime to amazing Costa Rica! See nature at its finest and explore the many conservation projects taking part in this biodiverse country.

Learn more and view the itinerary


Educator Professional Development

Zoo Careers

April 14, 2018 • 9am-3pm • Cost: $20 

Are you a teacher or guidance counselor with students interested in working at a zoo?  Investigate a variety of zoo careers and learn what it takes to have a job working at a zoo.  Take a tour behind the scenes and learn how the zoo works.  Throughout the day you will discover a variety of occupations.  ​

Conservation Educator Academy – Sharing One World 

June 25-28, 2018 • 8:30am to 4:30pm • Cost: $40

The Indianapolis Zoo and Ball State University are teaming up again this summer to help teachers develop and implement inquiry-based lesson plans in the areas of science and conservation. For the 2018 Conservation Educator Academy, we will explore how we share spaces with wildlife here in Indiana and around the globe. As the human population expands, humans and wildlife will share more and more of the same space. Habitats are shrinking for many types of wildlife and as a result, some of our animal neighbors are forced into urban areas. Learn how you and your students can develop projects that can help local wildlife thrive.

Targeted for 4-8th grade teachers (all grade levels are welcome)

Sign Up Today!​


​Indianapolis Prize Conservation Hero Profiles

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes conservationists who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. The most recent Prize winner was Carl Jones. Passionate about animals since childhood and inspired by the famous British conservationist Gerry Durrell, Carl has dedicated his life and career to restoring endangered animal populations and habitat, approaching conservation with a clear understanding of the necessary balance within an ecosystem. He is responsible for developing and leading successful recoveries for reptiles, mammals and birds, including the pink pigeon, echo parakeet and, most famously, the Mauritius kestrel. Carl brought the total population of the rarest bird on the planet from only four individuals to nearly 400 over the course of a decade.

​​To connect classroom learning with the heroic wonders of the Indianapolis Prize, t​he Conservation Hero Profiles were created to provide educators with the opportunity to teach students about the men and women who are saving wildlife and improving our planet for future generations. 

Written for a third- to fifth-grade audience, these profiles can be used as a reading assignment, an inspiration for writing or a launching point for further research.

Download Conservation Hero Profiles​

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Education Programs Brochure


​Check out everything the zoo has to offer to students and educators alike with our digital brochure.

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