Schools at the Zoo

Schools at the Zoo

Robert B. Daugherty Education Center's Schools at the Zoo

The Robert B. Daugherty Education Center is home to year-round programming and provides educational space to more than 9,000 student visitors annually.

Zoo Kindergarten

Zoo Kindergarten is a partnership with the Zoo's adopt-a-school, Bancroft Elementary. Zoo Kindergarten allows students to be immersed in their learning environment. With the opening of the Education Center, located next to Children's Adventure Trails, the Zoo was able to host an additional kindergarten classroom.            

Zoo Academy Middle School

The Middle School Zoo Academy is a unique partnership between the Zoo and Omaha Public Schools’ King Science and Technology Magnet. This academy offers a learning opportunity that is not available in a traditional middle school setting.

Middle School Zoo Academy students attend Zoology and Zoo Architecture classes at the Zoo two to three times per week. With the entire Zoo as their classroom, students engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and project-based lessons, providing them with real-world learning opportunities unlike any other.      



Zoo Afterschool Program (ZAP)

The Zoo Afterschool Program (ZAP) is sponsored by the Zoo in partnership with Omaha Public Schools and Bancroft Elementary and Castelar Elementary. The mission of the program is to provide inquiry-based STEM learning opportunities for at-risk students with limited resources that will inspire interest, ability and value for STEM in the natural world.

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Virtual ZAP

To accomodate remote learning, ZAP is going virtual! We are excited to bring this experience to families from the comfort of their own homes, or backyards, or wherever you may choose to connect with us! That's right, you can join virtual ZAP on your own or join with your family! 

How Do I Enroll?
All students must attend either Castelar or Bancroft elementary schools. If you have a student in the Omaha metro area and are not currently enrolled in these schools, please contact us to discuss how to enroll in Virtual ZAP. 

All paperwork must be completed in order to participate. Your student does not need to attend in-person ZAP in order to enroll in Virtual ZAP. Please click on the green button at the bottom of the page to start your Virtual ZAP enrollment.

Virtual ZAP Kick-Off - August 31, 4:30 p.m.

What's Virtual ZAP all about? Join us live for our virtual kick off event! Meet the ZAP instructors and get a surprise look at some of the Zoo animals. All family members are welcome to attend and learn together! 


Virtual ZAP Clubs

Grades K-2

After-school. Anywhere. We bring the globe to you. - Meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ 4:30 p.m.
Your voyage around the globe awaits!  Learn about Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North/South America. Come on a virtual adventure and join us as we explore these seven continents around the amazing world that surrounds us!

  • Zoo Tours: Explore the different exhibits around the zoo with Mr. Ron and Miss Bryar!
  • Play Like an Animal: Join us and be active by moving, pretending, and just acting like an animal would through stories, games, and so much more!
  • Continental Animal Spotlights: Learn fun facts, old folktales, and so much more about your favorite animals around the world.
  • Habitat Search: Learn through games and activities with us on how to (scavenger)hunt like your favorite animal around your home.

Around the Zoo - Meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ 4:30 p.m.
Peek into the various zoo exhibits with our ZAP live cameras from the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Get some virtual life experiences and learn about the different kind of animals in the world that we have here at our zoo. Are you ready to have a wild experience?

  •  Fun Facts: Learn all about animals.
  •  Arts and Crafts: Be artsy with materials you can find at home and create beautiful masterpieces.
  • Habitats: Explore the unique places where animals can be found
  • Travel: We will travel virtually throughout the zoo and see animals!


Grades 3-6

Kitchen Science - Meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ 4:30 p.m.
Ever wonder what science can be done with everyday objects you can find around your house?  Check out Kitchen Sink Science and see what cool things and incredible experiments your teachers can do with these objects.  Experiments will be tied back to how this information affects your everyday life and conservation of the environment.

  • Science: Learn how different objects and items interact with each other.
  • Experiments: Find out what cool experiments teachers can perform with everyday objects.
  • Conservation: Learn how you, your family and friends can help to save the environment.

Amazing Art 101 - Meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ 4:30 p.m.
Have you heard of Andy Warhol or Frida Kahlo? Have you ever looked at abstract art and wondered what that was about? Do you want to be the next art superstar? Then this class is for you.

  • Animals in cave art; In this class we explore why animals are a common subject in cave painting. Students will create cave art of our own.
  • Abstract Cubism: In this class we will be learning about cubism and its goal. Student will be creating their own cubist works using toys at home as models.
  • Pop art: In this lesson we will learn about pop art and some noticeable artist like Andy Warhol in this movement. Students will create their own logo pop art.
  • Self-portrait: Students will learn about artist Frida Kahlo and Jean-Michel Basquiat and their noticeable self-portraits. Students will create their own self portrait.
  • Mural painting and public art; Students will be learning about art in public places. Students will learn about how places are picked for public pieces. Student places in their homes and create art for that area.
  • Land and nature work; Student will learn about some famous art pieces made in nature using nature materials. They have the opportunity to go outside and make nature works of their own.
  • Expressionism: In this lesson we will learn about the expressionism and some noticeable artist in this movement. Students will create their own expressionist art.
  • Art Show: In this lesson students will learn about the history of galleries, art shows and art museums. Students will have the opportunities show off some of their favorite pieces from this class.

Ecosystem Engineering - Meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ 4:30 p.m.
Come explore the zoo as we examine the different animals and ecosystems that they inhabit. We will be experiencing the zoo from a new perspective as we look at how habitats are designed and design habitats of our own. Are you up for the challenge? 

  • Exhibit tours: Come explore different exhibits with Mrs. Connie and Mr. Owen
  • Animal spotlights: Learn fun facts about some of your favorite animals at the zoo
  • Arts and Crafts: Make animals out of materials that you have laying around the house
  • Habitat design: Design your very own animal habitat and present it to your classmates

All Grades K-6

Virtual Zoo Field Trip - Meets on Fridays @ 4:30 p.m.
Join us for a fun Friday virtual Zoo Field Trip! This program will bring you inside the most popular exhibits where you will learn all about some of our favorite animals, habitats and careers.  

Register for Virtual ZAP