Auckland Zoo offers a range of Secondary and Tertiary Education Sessions. These sessions involve interactive and hands on learning where students will come away with knowledge about our animals at the zoo and understand their importance in the world. 

Classes are age specific with clear learning outcomes for each age range. Learning outcomes and focuses differ depending on the student's age and prior knowledge.

  1. To book: Download one of the booking forms below:
    1. Year 9-10 booking form
    2. Year 11-13 booking form
    3. Tertiary booking form
  2. Email completed booking forms to: discoveryandlearning@aucklandzoo.co.nz
  3. When applying please read our essential information for educatorsZoo RAMS, and terms and conditions of entry.

Find out more about our Secondary and Tertiary programs below.

Education session topics we offer: years 9 - 10

How and why animals are classified into groups

Session Outline: Through educator-led activities and observations out in the zoo grounds, students will identify how structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations help plants and animals survive in their habitats. Using a range of animal examples at Auckland Zoo students will apply their knowledge of the scientific system for classifying the living world. This session will also include discussion about changes to ecosystems due to human activity, the impacts this has on wildlife and what actions can be undertaken to help prevent extinctions.

At the end of the session students will:

  1.  Recognise that animals, including New Zealand species are suited to particular habitats.
  2. Give examples of animal adaptations and relate these to different habitats.
  3. Understand that adaptation is an evolutionary process.
  4. Explain how human activities can change habitats and affect animals’ ability to survive.
  5. Recognise that there is a scientific method for grouping and naming organisms and classify animals on the basis of observable features.

Please see our Animal Adaptations and Classification PDF for more information. 

What is a modern zoo? How human activities affect the survival of animals in the wild

Session Outline: Auckland Zoo is now a place of conservation, education and research, rather than having an emphasis on entertainment. Working with a zoo educator, students will hear about south-east Asian rainforest animals and issues relating to New Zealand coasts as a focus for this session. How does Auckland Zoo meet the needs of these animals? Examples of current conservation projects in both New Zealand and overseas will illustrate how the zoo is helping to fight extinction and preserve biodiversity. Ideas for conservation actions students can take on return to school will also be identified. 

At the end of the session students will: 

  1.  Describe ways in which zoos have changed over time.
  2. Recognise that animals in zoos play a role in advocacy for their species.
  3. Explain how human activities, for example production of palm oil and fishing methods can change habitats and affect wildlife survival.
  4. List some of the ways Auckland Zoo is involved in conservation work.
  5. Discuss personal actions that will help animal species either in New Zealand or elsewhere.


Please see our Modern Zoos PDF for more information.

Learn how human activities can impact the survival of species

Session Outline: Auckland Zoo is now a place of conservation, education and research, rather than having an emphasis on entertainment. Working with a zoo educator, students will hear about south-east Asian rainforest animals and issues relating to New Zealand coasts as a focus for this session. How does Auckland Zoo meet the needs of these animals? Examples of current conservation projects in both New Zealand and overseas will illustrate how the zoo is helping to fight extinction and preserve biodiversity. Ideas for conservation actions students can take on return to school will also be identified. 


At the end of the session students will:

  1. Describe ways in which zoos have changed over time.
  2. Recognise that animals in zoos play a role in advocacy for their species.
  3. Explain how human activities, for example production of palm oil and fishing methods can change habitats and affect wildlife survival.
  4. List some of the ways Auckland Zoo is involved in conservation work.
  5. Discuss personal actions that will help animal species either in New Zealand or elsewhere.

Learning outcomes are broken down per age group, please see our Endangered Species Education Session PDF for more information. 
 

How and why animals are classified into groups

Session Outline: Critical thinking, discussion and debate will be the emphasis of this session. Students will be presented with questions to consider and be encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas as a class. Questions discussed may include: Why do we have zoos? What is the role of a modern zoo? Should animals be kept in zoos? If so, which animals? Who decides? Where do the animals come from? Examples of the way we care for animals in the zoo and current conservation work we are involved in will be shared throughout this session. Ideas for conservation actions students can take on return to school will also be identified

At the end of the session students will:

  1. Explain why Auckland Zoo keeps animals in captivity and consider if they should.
  2. Formulate reasoned arguments to ethical questions raised about keeping animals in captivity.
  3. Reflect on personal actions that can be taken to help animals either in New Zealand or overseas.

Please see our Philosophy at Auckland Zoo PDF for more information. 

 

Relationships and connections between animals, plants, people and our values from a Māori world view

Session Outline: In the Māori world/Te Ao Māori there is only one set of primal ancestors (Ranginui and Papatūānuku) from whom all things ultimately trace descent, therefore all things are related. Be they people, animals, plants, rocks, water… everything is connected and dependent on each other for their health and well-being. Our sessions will use the flora and fauna of Te Wao Nui as a vehicle to illustrate and explain the many relationships and in so doing provide greater understanding and appreciation of Māori culture and its many principles and practices, for example, kaitiakitanga, whakapapa, karakia, rongoā etc.

At the end of the sessions students will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the world, built on current scientific theories.
  2. Learn that science involves particular processes and ways of developing and organising knowledge and that these continue to evolve. 
  3. Explore the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society that derives from the Treaty of Waitangi.
  4. Understand how societies are organised and function and how the ways in which people and communities respond are shaped by different perspectives, values, and viewpoints.
  5. Participate with understanding and confidence in situations where te reo and tikanga Māori predominate and to integrate language and cultural understandings into their lives

Please see our Mātauranga Māori PDF for more information. 

 

Education session topics we offer: years 11 - 13

Relationships and connections between animals, plants, people and our values from a Māori world view

Session Outline: In the Māori world/Te Ao Māori there is only one set of primal ancestors (Ranginui and Papatūānuku) from whom all things ultimately trace descent, therefore all things are related. Be they people, animals, plants, rocks, water… everything is connected and dependent on each other for their health and well-being. Our sessions will use the flora and fauna of Te Wao Nui as a vehicle to illustrate and explain the many relationships and in so doing provide greater understanding and appreciation of Māori culture and its many principles and practices, for example, kaitiakitanga, whakapapa, karakia, rongoā etc.

At the end of the sessions students will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the world, built on current scientific theories.
  2. Learn that science involves particular processes and ways of developing and organising knowledge and that these continue to evolve. 
  3. Explore the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society that derives from the Treaty of Waitangi.
  4. Understand how societies are organised and function and how the ways in which people and communities respond are shaped by different perspectives, values, and viewpoints.
  5. Participate with understanding and confidence in situations where te reo and tikanga Māori predominate and to integrate language and cultural understandings into their lives

Please see our Mātauranga Māori PDF for more information. 

  1. Mammals as Consumers
    1. Biology 1.5, AS 90929
  2. Animal Behaviour
    1. Psychology Level 1
  3. Endangered Species
    1. Social Studies Level 1. Also suitable for Level 1 Technology.
  1. The Palm Oil Predicament
    1. Biology 2.2, AS 91154. Also suitable for Social Studies and EfS.
  2. Animal Adaptations
    1. Biology 2.3, AS 91155
  3. Ecology in Te Wao Nui
    1. Biology 2.6, AS 91158
  4. Endangered Species
    1. Geography 2.7, AS 91246
  1. ​Rainforest dest​ruction in Southeast Asia
    1. Social Studies Level 3. Also suitable for EfS and Biology 3.2.
  2. Animal Behaviour
    1. Biology 3.3, AS 91603
  3. Evolution of New Zealand species
    1. Biology 3.5, AS 91605
  4. Trends in Human Evolution
    1. Biology 3.6, AS 91606

A Level Cambridge Session - Biodiversity and Conservation: Discover some of the ways Auckland Zoo is helping to conserve global biodiversity

Session Outline: During this session students will be invited to discuss why biodiversity is important and identify processes that are threatening both local and global biodiversity. Using case studies of current conservation work Auckland Zoo is involved with, students will find out how advocacy, breeding programmes, fieldwork and research is contributing to the conservation of wildlife both in New Zealand and overseas. Students will be invited to discuss ways in which we can all take positive actions to prevent extinctions.

At the end of the session, students will be able to:

  1. Define and provide examples of biodiversity.
  2. Give reasons for the importance of biodiversity.
  3. Identify examples of endangered species and current threats facing wildlife.
  4. State some of the ways Auckland Zoo contributes to the conservation of endangered species e.g. advocacy, breeding programmes, conservation fieldwork and research.

Please see our Cambridge Biodiversity and Conservation PDF for more information.

International Baccalaureate Session - Ecology and Evolution of New Zealand Species: Discover New Zealand’s unique biodiversity

Session Outline: New Zealand biodiversity demonstrates a high percentage of endemic species. A long period of isolation from Gondwana, changing landscapes and island evolutionary processes combined with a lack of competition and predation from land mammals has shaped our unique flora and fauna. During this session, biological ideas relating to ecology, evolution and conservation of New Zealand species will be shared using species examples students can observe in Auckland Zoo’s Te Wao Nui exhibits. Examples of conservation fieldwork Auckland Zoo is involved in and ways everyone can assist with the conservation of New Zealand species will also be discussed as part of this session.

At the end of the session, students will be able to:

  1. Identify species that are introduced, native or endemic to New Zealand.
  2. Describe biological ideas relating to the ecology and evolution of New Zealand species, such as ecosystem, adaptation, niche, populations, variation, natural selection, and speciation.
  3. Describe impacts of humans on New Zealand’s flora and fauna e.g. habitat loss and the introduction of alien species.
  4. State examples of some of the conservation fieldwork Auckland Zoo is involved in to help conserve New Zealand species.

Please see our IB Ecology and Evolution PDF for more information.

Tertiary sessions

  1. ​​Role of Auckland Zoo in conservation
  2. Evolution and ecology of New Zealand species
  3. Trends in human evolution​

For further information about these tertiary sessions and their content, contact us directly.

Other Education Programmes