Exotic visitors from the Great Plains Zoo delighted preschool through sixth grade elementary students last Thursday, as the ZooMobile made a stop in Wessington Springs to deliver an exciting, hands-on educational experience right in the classroom.
Teaching science-standard topics including habitat and conservation, Education Specialist Emily Workman said that the grant-funded ZooMobile program travels “all over the place,” within about a 200-mile proximity from Sioux Falls. ZooMobile visits schools comprised of students who may not otherwise have a chance to learn about and interact with animals from the Great Plains Zoo.
“We are in the third year of this grant and we’ve seen about 10,000 kids with ZooMobile,” Workman said of the outreach program. “Conservation education is really important. Generally if kids are interested in something they are more likely to care about it and help protect those animals.”
Workman brought two insects and three small animals in the ZooMobile. Students were introduced to Madascar cockroaches, a ball python, an eastern screech owl and a chinchilla. They learned about the behaviors and habitats of the insects and animals and were even able to pet the python and chinchilla.