Teacher Classes

Teacher Classes


Ready for a change of pace? Take a teacher class at Brookfield Zoo!
Our expert educators will inform, entertain, and engage you as you explore a wide range of topics. Classes address the Next Generation Science Standards. All classes carry PDCHs at no additional charge and many provide optional graduate credit for an additional fee. However, all participants must complete assigned homework in order to receive PDCHs or graduate credit.

Have you checked out our Advanced Inquiry Program Master’s degree? It’s fun and exciting, includes travel abroad, and is very affordable. Click here to check it out!

 

Special Promotion!  Bring a buddy to class and you’ll receive a $50 discount on your registration.  The individual you recruit must be a new attendee and not have attended a Zoo class in the past.  For details and how to register please contact Renee Anderson at 708-688-8372 or renee.anderson@czs.org.   

2017 Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo


January 27 & 28: Biomimicry

Friday, January 27 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, January 28 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Join us for a fascinating exploration of Biomimicry in Nature. Biomimicry is an innovative growing field that can inspire student’s interest in science, the natural world, and their environment. Participants will engage in activities introducing biologically inspired technology, discover why it is important, and research their own solution to a human or environmental challenge. This class is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards particularly those regarding the engineering solutions.

NGSS MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking questions, defining problems, developing and using models, using mathematics and computational thinking, obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

February 10 & 11: Winter Ecology

Friday, February 10 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) at Brookfield Zoo and Saturday, February 11 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) at Spring Valley Nature Center
Grades 4-6, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Explore the world of winter ecosystems with staff from Brookfield Zoo and Spring Valley Nature Center. Learn what makes winter so important to the plants and animals living in Chicago Wilderness. Discover the strategies they use to survive seasonal change in the Chicago area. Become an expert on mammal adaptations and broaden your observation and descriptive skills while experimenting with ice and snow. Use math and science skills to identify animal signs, tracks, and scat. Activities will include winter astronomy, animal tracking and snow ecology. Use literature to broaden your experience of seasonal change and take home a sled-full of ideas and activities.

NGSS MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
NGSS MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
NGSS 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Using math and computational thinking; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Stability and change.

February 24 & 25: Critter Coats

Friday, February 24 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, February 25 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Grades K-3, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Discover all the unique covers animals wear and the different ways that they help them to survive. Participants will be introduced to the different body coverings found on animals and be able to see feathers, fur and scales up close. This class will focus on the Next Generation Science Standards Crosscutting Concepts.

NGSS K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale Proportion and Quantity; Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter; Structure and Function; and Stability and Change.

March 3 & 4: Tails and Trunks

Friday, March 3 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, March 4 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Grades K-6, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Explore the many amazing things animals can do with their ears, eyes, mouths, noses, feet, and tails in this interactive class. What could you do with ears three feet wide or a tail that can wrap around branches? From the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes, animals are pretty amazing! Learn about the extraordinary features that animals use to survive, then create your own awesome adaptation.

NGSS LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
NGSS 3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Engaging in argument from evidence; obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function.

March 17 & 18: NGSS: All Three Dimensions

Friday, March 17 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, March 18 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Have you been working to integrate NGSS into your classroom and are ready for the next steps? Come learn as a “student” and a “teacher” what it feels like to be in a three-dimensional classroom. Participants will engage in hands-on activities both in the classroom and out in the Zoo that focus on all three dimensions of NGSS: Science & Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. There will be a brief review for how to read NGSS but this class will focus more on the next steps for integrating NGSS within and across disciplines to connect all learning throughout the day.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale Proportion and Quantity; Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter; Structure and Function; and Stability and Change.

April 21 & 22: Friends, Families, Packs, and Prides

Friday, April 21 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, April 22 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

One of a kind? Part of a pride? Some animals live in groups while others prefer to go it alone. Study the living arrangements of many different animals, from a pack of wolves to the solitary sloth. Discover the behavioral systems that operate in gorilla troops, wolf packs, and zebra herds to establish dominance and order. Understand how animals vie for leadership, friendship, food and mates. How do groups of animals (and kids!) get along? Compare animal systems to classrooms and learning communities, with a focus on nurturing kind and cooperative behaviors.

NGSS-3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
NGSS-MS-LS2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
NGSS-HS-LS2-8 Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and carrying out investigations; engaging in argument from evidence; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, systems and systems models, structure and function.

April 28 & 29: Animal Coloration: The Many Roles of Color in Species Survival

Friday, April 28 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, April 29 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Grades 6-12, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

In this course, coloration will be a focus by moving through an NGSS Storyline unit. Using scientific phenomena like albinism, many life science content areas will be addressed in a cohesive unit driven by student inquiry. Participants will see firsthand how a storyline unit works and experience how topics like DNA, genetics, evolution, and more can be included in a single unit based on a phenomenon that draws students in and encourages them to ask thoughtful, meaningful questions.

NGSS-HS-LS1-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
NGSS-HS-LS3-1 Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.
NGSS-HS-LS2-8 Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
NGSS-HS-LS3-3 Apply concepts of statics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.
NGSS-HS-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Engaging in argument from evidence.

May 5 & 6: Rainforests

Friday, May 5 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, May 6 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Spend one evening at Brookfield Zoo and one day at Chicago Botanic Garden learning about rainforests worldwide- why they are important, why some are disappearing and why we want to protect them. Join educators at Brookfield Zoo, seeking out animals of the rainforest in our cozy rainforest exhibits, and learn about their adaptations for survival. At Chicago Botanic Garden visit the warm steamy greenhouses to explore rainforest plants and their adaptations. At both places, learn hands-on art and science activities for use in the classroom. Teachers will explore rainforest through classroom activities that relate to language arts, math, science, social studies and fine arts.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, systems and systems models, structure and function.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and using models; analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.

May 19 & 20: Inquiry

Friday, May 19 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, May 20 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

You are invited to become a scientist during this class. Scientists are empirical and skeptical. They test many ideas about what’s happening in nature. Come explore the cycle of inquiry by doing hands-on experiments, form hypotheses, experiment and explore some more and observe and make conclusions about the animals and plants at the Brookfield Zoo.

NGSS K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
NGSS 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and using models; analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.



Have questions?
Contact Renee Anderson at 708-688-8372 or Renee.Anderson@czs.org or Julie Wozniak at 708-688-8367 or Julie.Wozniak@czs.org.


Refund Policy
All class fees include a $40 nonrefundable registration fee for 1-hour graduate classes and a $75 nonrefundable registration fee for 3-hour graduate classes. Class fees, minus the nonrefundable registration fee, can be refunded or transferred to another teacher class if we receive notice of this request at least two weeks prior to the date of the original class.