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RZSS Education

Zoos & Conservation

Age Suitability: Secondary 1 - 6

Location: Edinburgh Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park

Lesson Duration: 50 minutes or 1 hour 50 minutes

Maximum Class Size: 160 (50 minute session only), 33


Content (and curriculum links):

An overview of the role of modern zoos as centres for conservation, education and research. This interactive session allows pupils to gain a wider understanding of our in-situ and ex-situ conservation projects, with discussion on the threats to biodiversity (Higher: 3.8), animal welfare (Higher: 3.4), and inbreeding (Higher: 3.2). Through examination of our in-situ conservation work globally we also provide insight into how wild populations are monitored (Adv. Higher: 2.1), and discuss the morality of keeping animals in captivity (SCN 4-13c, SCN 4-20b, Nat 4: 1.8).

Lesson Outline:  

The session begins with an hour long tour of the Park visiting endangered animals and finding out about the work of RZSS both ex-situ through our breeding programmes and in-situ through our global conservation projects. Back in the Education Centre, pupils work in teams to discuss the dilemmas that zoos and conservation organisations face regularly.

The 50 minute session is an introduction to zoos and the conservation work that they conduct. This interactive session is designed to develop the understanding of what zoos are trying to achieve. The 50 minute session does not have any outside tour but can be delivered to large school bookings.

The focus of this session can be tailored to suit the level of your students or to highlight specific areas of BGE, or Biology at: National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

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