Teacher classes


Teacher Classes

Important information about teacher classes during Covid-19: Please note that due to ongoing Covid-19 developments, all teacher professional development opportunities will be offered online. Although the zoo may open to the public, in-person group sessions are not being planned. We are continually adapting our courses to best meet the needs of educators. Courses may be taught over multiple days and include larger breaks in the middle of the day for hands-on asynchronous learning experiences. All courses will be taught with the knowledge that the activities being shared can be used remotely with students or in-person when schools reopen. Along with the content of the course, we will also highlight tools and techniques to assist in remote learning. Our philosophy is still focused on student-centered learning, even if virtual! Below, please find an updated schedule of our courses and we hope to “see” you soon!

All classes offer PDHs. Graduate credit through Dominican University is optional for most classes. Dominican University will accept up to 6 hours of credit from these class options as electives in their MaEd program. See below for more details and how to qualify for graduate credit.

Surviving in Nature: Brookfield Zoo Style

Hybrid Learning:
October 4 & 23: 9 a.m. - noon | online
October 16: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. | in person

All grades
| $110| 10 PDHs (CPDUs) will be provided at the end of training. | 1 optional graduate credit: $100 through Dominican University, course number EDU 855

Since 1934 the Brookfield Zoo has been on the cutting edge of animal exhibitry, welfare, and animal nutrition. In this class we will look at how we ensure our animal residents survive in style and how you can too. By dining on some of our residents' meals, you’ll discover what it takes to survive at Brookfield Zoo.

Science and Pop Culture

Hybrid Learning:
November 6 & 20: 9 a.m. - noon | online
November 13, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. | in person

All grades
| $110| 10 PDHs (CPDUs) will be provided at the end of training. | 1 optional graduate credit: $100 through Dominican University, course number EDU 857

Superheros, nature shows, and music all rely on science to connect and entertain. Join us as we examine the science behind Spiderman, The Wild Kratts, and Big Yellow Taxi and how they impact scientific smarts.

Science and Culture

Hybrid Learning:
December 6, 13, & 20 will be 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. | online
December 11 will be 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. | in person


All grades | $110| 10 PDHs (CPDUs) will be provided at the end of training. | 1 optional graduate credit: $100 through Dominican University, course number EDU 856

What is science to different cultures? How do beliefs impact scientific understanding? Through an analysis of cryptozoology, dragons, pets, and food, we will look at the intersection of science and culture around the world.

Looking for other professional development opportunities or topics?

We would love to work with you to create a customized experience for your school or district. We can offer ongoing mentorship, customized programming and content, and classroom support for you and your colleagues. 


Have questions?
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher classes are proudly supported by: 

Cancellations, Rescheduling, and Refund Policy:
The following policies are in place because making our Teacher Classes the best possible experience they can be requires months of planning, preparation, and investment of staff resources. Upon making a reservation, we reserve a space for you. In doing so, we are barring others from signing up as we have limited seats available. All class fees include a 25% non-refundable deposit. Class fees, minus the non-refundable deposit, can be refunded or transferred to another teacher class if we receive notice of this request at least 14 calendar days prior to the date of the original class. Participants who do not show up for their registered class or choose to leave early on one or more days will not be granted a refund.

During registration, you agreed to and paid a processing fee. The total processing fee imposed by The ACTIVE Network, LLC or its applicable subsidiary, (collectively ACTIVE) includes sums charged by ACTIVE as consideration for providing its software and services (including without limitation promotional and marketing services) to the activity organizer (Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo). These sums, as part of the total processing fee, are in addition to any actual costs incurred by ACTIVE from third party providers for each transaction. These fees are nonrefundable as they do not belong to the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo.


Curious about carnivores? Wild about water? Interested in inquiry? Join us for our all-new Adult Education series featuring a variety of topics and specialties designed to inspire and engage. These multi-day classes feature industry professionals and hands-on learning. Some classes take place right here at Brookfield Zoo and feature presentations by our zoo professionals and offer unique perspectives on the exhibits you already know and love. Some classes also involve exciting field trips and inspiring "in-situ" learning opportunities. If you are a teacher, you can even earn Professional Development Clock Hours (PDCHs) from these courses. Click on the name of each course below to learn more about each of these exciting series. 


The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is a conservation-focused, inquiry-driven learning experience that combines web-based graduate courses through Miami University with exciting face-to-face experiential and field study at Brookfield Zoo. Students in this national degree program contribute to social and ecological change in their communities. The opportunity to earn credits from international travel is another exciting part of the program. And the best news of all – it’s affordable!