Who can participate in Close Encounters Programs?

  • Preschool – 12th grade
  • Minimum group size required is 8 students.
  • We offer four time slots with two smaller groups (8-30 students) and two larger groups (20-60 students) accommodated.
When are Close Encounters Programs available?

  • Close Encounters Programs are available September-May with two sessions at 10:30 and two sessions at 11:30
  • Each demonstration is approximately 30 minutes PreK, K and 45 minutes 1st-8th.
  • Make your reservations at least two weeks in advance.
  • Programs are held regardless of weather conditions unless a weather emergency is declared.
How much are Close Encounters Programs?

  • Free with School Admission!
Where do Close Encounters Programs take place?

  • In the Harold C. Schott Education Center

What topics are available?

Topic Grade Description
Adaptations PreK-5 Adaptable for younger or older students, this program introduces several unique live animals and explores their adaptations related to survival.
Fur, Feathers, Scales PreK-2 Younger students  learn how to determine  if animals are mammals, birds or reptiles based on body coverings. 
 Life Cycles K- 5 Adaptable for younger or older students, live animals are used to show the different ways that wildlife goes through life cycles. 
Inquiry 101 K-12 Students learn how to ask introductory investigative questions about the world around them and conduct a simple experiment involving live animals. Tailored to the age group.
 Food Chains  3-5 Bring food chains to life while learning how living things get energy to survive, as well as how they may be affected by changes in the environment. 
3-8 Discover how plants and animals (including humans) interact with their environment, and each other, to survive.
Zoo Careers 7-12 This program investigates the different types of jobs it takes to run the zoo, from driving the train to caring for the animals.
Biodiversity 9-12 Discover the unique and rich variety of life in our natural world. See how the differences in plants and animals work together in a healthy ecosystem.