ELEPHANTS, rhinos and all other creatures great and small will be brought to life in the classroom thanks to a pioneering project run by Chester Zoo.
The Safari Ranger project will take the zoo out to some 80 schools where children will spend up to two hours exploring the natural world.
The pilot project will begin in January and follows extensive research with teachers.
Safari Ranger Becca Biddle said: “Although we won’t physically be marching elephants into classrooms, we will be using our resources and our knowledge to educate youngsters from primary age upwards about endangered animals and the importance of conservation.
“Children will be able to handle smaller creatures such as insects and there will be eggs, bones and skins to touch which will help bring our subject matter to life.
“The zoo’s unique resources mean that learning is a multi-sensory experience, particularly through exciting hands-on activities as part of our Schools’ Discovery Programme or via informal education & public engagement.ŠWe appreciate that not all schools are able to come to us but now we are able to take the zoo out to them.”
The pilot project will run for a year in the Chester area and will be free to schools. The sessions can be adapted to teachers’ needs and linked to school projects.
Chester Zoo currently teaches 20,000 children per year on site with a further 80,000 visiting as part of an educational trip. It is hoped the project will be reach another 2,400 children.
“Over the last 20 years the role of zoos as education providers has grown in prominence. Modern zoos now see themselves as cultural institutions with a moral mission to educate and increasingly serve as a point of contact between urban communities and the natural world.Š
“The aim of the project is to target and engage with schools within our community that are unable to either visit or take a taught session at Chester Zoo, whether this be due to distance, financial constraints or other constraints,” added Becca.
The Safari Ranger project is supported by Urenco UK, the Philip Barker Charity, Tesco Charity Trust and Sir Julian Hodge Charitable Trust.Š
For more information please contact the Discovery and Learning department at Chester Zoo by phone on 01244Š389738 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.