RZSS Education


The conference will run from Wednesday 20th - Friday 22nd November 2019 with an optional trip to our Highland Wildlife Park on Saturday 23rd.

The full programme with lists of speakers and topics will be added to this page once it has been confirmed.

Day 1 Wednesday 20th November

We're going to ease you in gently with some free time in Edinburgh Zoo. The Zoo opens from 10am but make sure you bring some comfy shoes (we're on a bit of a hill!).

12:00 Registration, lunch and posters
13:00 RZSS welcome
13:30 BIAZA introductions and welcome
13:45 Keynote
14:25 5 minute talks
14:45 10 minute talks
15:15 Buses to Dynamic Earth

Day 2 Thursday 21st November 

More info on workshops and presentations is available below.

09:00 Registration, coffee and posters
09:30 Keynote
10:10 10 minute talks
10:30 Coffee, quiz, tour of Edinburgh Zoo
12:00 15 minute talks
12:30 Lunch
13:15 BIAZA committee talk
14:30 RZSS Workshops
16:30 5 minute talks
16:40 10 minute talks
17:00 Giant Lanterns 
19:00 Gala dinner 

Day 3 Friday 22nd November

09:00 Registration, coffee and posters
09:30 Keynote
10:10 Parallel workshops
11:40 Grab and go coffee
11:55 Parallel workshops
13:25 Lunch
14:10 Prop roulette
14:40 15 minute talks
15:10 5 minute talks
15:30 Ruby and Zed 
16:00 Closing 
16:15 Goodbye! 

Optional visit to Highland Wildlife Park 

Saturday 23rd November

If you'd like to spend a bit longer in bonnie Scotland, then we'd love to offer you the opportunity to visit our sister site - the Highland Wildlife Park on the Saturday. The only cost will be the price of the bus (£20 per person depending on the number of delegates attending) but we'll include free entry to the park, a tour and lunch. If you'd be interested in attending please sign up as part of the options offered on the registration page.


Workshops and Presentations

1pm Wednesday 20th November - 4.30pm Friday 22nd November

This year's conference theme is 'Conservation Education 2029 - where do we go from here?'

Think about what's next for your collection. What does the future hold and how can we challenge preconceptions about what conservation education looks like...


The RZSS Discovery and Learning team will be showcasing some of our most innovative lessons including workshops on the following:

  • A session in our immersive classroom. Looking at how technology can transport our learners and engage them in active learning with a particular focus on how we’re using it with SEN learners. 3 wall and floor projection, plus sounds, smells and wind!
  • Experience one of our most popular lessons – The rainforest – in our rainforest room, including an animal handling session and the use of VR headsets.
  • Science in the language classroom – come and learn how we’re using conservation to teach Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese and Gaelic or alternatively how we’re using languages to teach conservation!
  • Come and join us outdoors in the wildlife garden for a true forest school experience
  • In the lecture theatre we’ll be running our biodiversity lesson aimed at secondary pupils incorporating innovative approaches to learning evaluation
  • One of our colleagues from the Highland Wildlife Park will also be discussing one of our most successful community projects – the Wildlife Wombles. Highlighting how we’re working with a local group to provide volunteering opportunities for those with additional learning needs.


We’ve also got some special sessions lined up from BIAZA education gold award winners including:

  • NMA talking about their Ocean Squad programme
  • Hanwell highlighting their approach to equity and equality.

And of course everybody's favourite, prop roulette, will return for 2019! 

Evening Activities

Wednesday 20th November

We have arranged a visit to local attraction Dynamic Earth immediately after the end of day 1. The evening will then offer various options for eating out in gorgeous Edinburgh with time to browse the famous Christmas Market.

Thursday 21st November

Special access to our Giant Lanterns of China event from 5pm. (You can see last years spectacular for an idea of what to expect!)

7.30pm Gala Dinner celebrating traditional country fayre (think whisky and haggis) in the luxury of our Mansion House, followed by traditional Scottish Ceilidh dancing (with a science twist!)

As the theme of the conference is 'looking to the future' we'd like you to go futuretastic with your outfits on the night - think shiny spacesuits, stars and steampunk!

We would love to include a raffle as part of the evening, so please bring a prize from your collection to donate. Prizes will be drawn on the night - good luck!

Don't overdo it too much as we have another packed day on Friday 22nd when the conference will close at 4.30pm for those of you not joining our adventure to the Highland Wildlife Park on the Saturday!