Our range of core workshops are designed to tie in with the national curriculum and will create a fun, stimulating learning environment.
Hover over each workshop for more information.
Why have animals evolved over millions of years? Are they still evolving? Do animals adapt well to change? Will some animals cease to exist due to man’s bad habits? These and many more questions are investigated in this workshop.
Biodiversity: KS 1, 2, 3, 4. First, Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 – 14)
This workshop talks of the variety of life on the planet. It informs about the difference in levels of biodiversity around the world and warns of the dangers to the balance of nature. We explain the range of species concerning our ZooLab animals giving an idea as to how diverse these creatures really are. This workshop will look at -
Biomimetics and Amazing Adaptations - KS 3, 4; Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 11 - 16)
From amazing adaptations to bizarre survival and defence tactics, the world is full of amazing animal science! This fascinating session will look at a section of complex behaviours from the animal world including Batesian mimicry, parthenogenesis and camouflage! What can humans learn from these marvels? Find out how nature-inspired solutions are influencing scientific, medical and engineering discovery. This workshop provides a great opportunity for teens interested in science or engineering to see how systems and models in nature are used to solve complex human problems!
Build a dinosaur: KS 1, 2, 3, 4. First, Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 – 14)
ZooLab's own animals (from bearded dragons to tarantulas, hissing cockroaches and frogs) provide some hands-on evolutionary clues as pupils get to see, feel and touch evolutionary changes and adaptations at first hand. Pupils see how some animals can even change colour and body temperature; pupils explore what other animals and human beings need to do to cope with widely different temperatures and types of environment. It is all part of a voyage of discovery into how animal senses have adapted and how animal characteristics have developed over evolutionary time. The workshop combines imagination and working scientifically to uncover the big ideas of science and stimulate keen interest in young minds.
Charles Darwin – The Voyage of the Beagle - KS 1, 2. Early Years, First Stage. (Ages 3 – 11)
Follow Charles Darwin as he travels from coast to coast. This fantastic new show from ZooLab invites learners to hear all about Charles Darwin's expedition, which lasted nearly 5 years. From England, to South America, then to New Zealand, Australia, and finally Africa – Darwin saw it all during his time on the HMS Beagle. Throughout this incredible workshop our experienced ZooLab rangers will take your classroom around the world and introduce them to some of our extraordinary animals, similar to species Darwin himself saw and recorded. Touching on evolution and adaptations - this workshop is a fun and exciting chance to learn all about the Voyage; which inspired Darwin and his theories.
Classification - KS 1, 2, 3, 4. First, Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 - 14)
What is classification, and how do we group animals and why? This hands-on, animal-handling workshop experience brings pupils face to face with the topic as they get to touch and handle real-life animals. It is all part of an experiential and interactive learning experience in which they are introduced to ZooLab animals that include vertebrates and invertebrates. Pupils explore the characteristics of the different classes of animal – so they can uncover their differences and similarities themselves. The workshop gets pupils to consider the big ideas of science and relate physical and behavioural characteristics to species survival or extinction. Biodiversity, adaptations and interdependence are also featured as part of this workshop's focus on developing scientific inquiry and scientific literacy with a global perspective.
Endangered Animals - KS 1, 2, 3, 4. First, Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 - 14)
This show explores and defines the terms 'endangered' and 'extinction' in all their nuances (e.g. 'becoming extinct', 'under threat of extinction', 'extinct'). It looks at extinct animals such as the dinosaurs, which roamed Planet Earth for 165 million years – compared with our own 'brief' 200,000 years. The show looks at the competition story behind extinction story of the Dodo, and how human predation and animal competition in the form of rats led to the demise of the Dodo. Extinction is a natural process, and one that is accompanied by new species evolving all the time. The workshop illustrates how the pace of extinction has quickened, hastened by the activities of mankind. It looks across the world to see issues affecting wildlife and then back to the local level to look at wildlife closer to home that may not be 'local' for much longer.
With live animal-handling, this content-rich workshop looks at how animals such as cockroaches and rats with their omnivorous diet are perfectly adapted for survival. They can eat almost anything and are not dependent on one food supply (unlike the Giant Panda for instance with its total reliance on bamboo).
The workshop looks at issues facing endangered species that range from bees to frogs and toads (endangered by water pollution and other man-made threats from human population growth, to competition for land, food and resources. Other threats posed by humans are examined too; threats posed by the illegal international pet trade; habitat loss; and the trade in wild animal parts, from feathers to snake skin, from elephant tusks to rhino horn, seal skins to whale meat.
Competition is not limited to man, however. Competition from other related species and the transmission of disease are also explored and exemplified in stories such as that of the grey squirrel and red squirrel. On a positive note, the workshop explains the role of conservation programmes in bringing animal numbers back up to sustainable levels – from Macau parrots in Africa to programmes for rare spiders in Suffolk, England. Throughout the entire session, children are introduced to animals, most of which can be handled. The workshop finishes with a powerful message of how we can individually start conservation right on our doorstep.
Go on a fast-paced journey through evolutionary time as you climb inside the ZooLab time machine. Go back in time from the Moon landing to Ancient Egypt, the Stone Age and beyond human history to see animals that look very different - huge elephant type creatures, giant birds the size of giraffes, sabre toothed tigers and other beasts we do not recognise at all. This highly visual and varied experience brings pupils face to face with the big questions of science and conceptual understanding as part of a workshop that combines biology, chemistry, engineering concepts, world history and geography, looking at the origins of life on Earth - from amino acids to DNA. Using interactive learning techniques and high order questioning, it explores scientific processes and how life has evolved in such diversity, examining classification, adaptations within species and genetic inheritance.
Habitats - KS 1, 2, 3, 4. First, Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 - 14)
What makes a habitat and why? What is needed to make a habitat? And what types of habitat are found on planet earth? Why do habitats matter to animals and people? Pupils explore habitats that range from tropical rainforests to Deserts and from Polar Regions to oceans. They meet the three great survivors (rats, cockroaches and humans) and consider how and why they have survived.
Predators, Prey & Food Chains - KS 1, 2, 3, 4. First, Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 - 14)
Our Food Webs workshop looks at feeding connections (what-eats-what) in an ecological community. All with a little help from our ZooLab animals. We look at-
• How to classify non-living and living things
• Consumer resource system
• Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores
• Disruption of a Food Web
The Junkfood Roadshow
Normally known for our wide variety of educational workshops related to nature and the animal kingdom, ZooLab, have actually been carrying out healthy eating workshops for 10 years!
Taking place in your Food Technology or Home Economics department, The JunkFood Roadshow, is designed to reinforce dietary targets and shows easy ways of achieving them. We investigate the indecipherable manufacturer’s ingredients list whilst recreating that old freezer faithful – the beef burger. We then make the burger (with a big shock along the way!) but no one would want to eat it when you discover what actually goes into it!
Children get to go on a journey through the rainforest - with real rainforest animals and a ranger who really knows the rainforest inside out.
It's all about experiencing the drama of the rainforest - from the dark forest floor to the dizzy heights of the emergent layer! Children will learn about plants and get to meet a range of animals from ground-dwelling snails, 'travelling' snakes and canopy-dwelling tree frogs! They'll get to learn all about the layer(s) in which they live, who and what they eat, how they operate in different light levels, and all about life in the steamy tropics. And they'll learn about rainforest location, rainfall and weather – and rainforest destruction
Rainforest Unwrapped: KS 2, 3, 4. Second, Third, Fourth Stage. (Ages 5 – 14)
What are the reasons behind deforestation? How has the scramble for cheap resources led to the destruction of huge chunks of tropical rainforest around the world? Discover how some foods we take for granted can be traced back to the rainforest. What are their origins? How do they get from the rainforest to our plates? Pupils will get the chance to see, touch and taste some of these ingredients – in their raw form! Together, we discover how some day-to-day medicines can actually be traced back to the rainforest and how, in the 21st century, we are still studying how rainforest plants and trees can be used in the fight against cancer and malaria. Finally, we reinforce messaging related to recycling, sustainability and how by making a few, small changes to our lives, we can help ensure the preservation of this fascinating habitat for years to come.
ZooLab is for people of all ages and in all places.
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