School of Education partners with Kansas City Zoo to increase reach of ZooED

Continuing and Professional Education within the UMKC School of Education has announced a strengthened partnership with the Kansas City Zoo on their ZooED program.


ZooED is a flexible curriculum program that combines animals and conservation education with College and Career Readiness and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to inspire KC Zoostudents and make learning more engaging.  ZooED teachers receive lesson plans, classroom books and materials, a Zoo field trip and a visit from the Zoomobile, all of which are aligned with standards for English, Math, Social Studies and Science.


Funded entirely by the Zoological Tax District, ZooED is completely free for all teachers in Jackson and Clay counties.


The School of Education’s Continuing and Professional Education’s role is to facilitate partnerships between the Kansas City Zoo and UMKC’s School of Education Charter School Center, as well as assist with curricula alignment and teacher training.


Micheal Strohschein, Ed.D., director of Continuing and Professional Education, says, “The ZooED partnership is another example of how we can help connect urban students to their natural community through an innovative, project based, and rich cross-curricular curriculum, while enhancing academic engagement and learning.”


UMKC’s School of Education has been involved in ZooED since its conception in 2012, when Jennifer Waddell, Ph.D., now associate professor in the division of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, created assessment metrics for it.


According to Debra Ryder, director of Education at the Kansas City Zoo, “Thanks to UMKC’s research into ZooED’s content and flexibility, the program has become even more useful, rigorous and adaptable. The Zoo’s partnership with UMKC has made the program flourish in Clay and Jackson counties. We are grateful for the knowledge and guidance the department is willing to share with the Kansas City Zoo.”


For more information on ZooED, contact the Zoo at 816-595-1771.