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RZSS Education

Science Summer School

Science Summer School
Science Summer SchoolWhat is it?

A FREE week long course run at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park designed to give students real world experience in the fields of research and conservation within the setting of our Zoos.

This is a great opportunity for young scientists to get together, explore the science behind zoos, meet some unusual challenges and have fun as well as work hard.

The science summer school courses are run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Discovery and Learning Department and are aimed at young people aged 16 - 18 years old (S5 - S6).

Students spend the week finding out about how zoos work behind the scenes, covering scientific areas such as animal behaviour, welfare, genetic management, ecology and conservation. They will gain skills in designing and conducting scientific research, analysis and presentation using an animal group in the zoo.

In addition to this the course allows students to develop useful transferable skills including independent and team-based working skills; problem solving; time management; public speaking and 'Powerpoint' design skills. There is also a significant use of IT as part of the course.

The course is organised by RZSS' Education staff but there will also be input from RZSS research staff, keepers and vets. However, it must be stressed that the students WILL NOT be working with the animals and there will be little physical contact with them. The week contains a heavy work load concentrating on non-invasive animal research/science, so we are keen to attract the most committed students.

The students would be expected to bring their own packed lunches each day but drinks and a biscuit will be provided at breaks. On the last day it will be possible for teachers and family to come along and listen to what the students have done during the week at our Science Summer School Friday Presentations.


Where & When is it?

The course runs from Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm and is a 1-week commitment during the school holidays, so it is essential we only have students that can make the whole week.   

At Highland Wildlife Park:

Weeks commencing 13th and 20th July 2020

At Edinburgh Zoo:

Weeks commencing 3rd and 10th August 2020

How to apply

Download and complete this form: Science Summer School Form.

It is best to view the form in Print Layout.

The programme is free to all participants. Please note: this course is for young people aged 16-18 (S5-S6). We cannot provide accommodation and students will NOT be working directly with animals.

Deadline for applications is Monday 9th March 2020.

Please do not apply if you have attended the Science Summer School before in previous years at either the Highland Wildlife Park or Edinburgh Zoo, and note that there is a late cancellation fee of £50 for dropouts within 4 weeks of the course start date.


If you have any queries about the Science Summer School:

Please contact