Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



The National Zoo's Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia (formerly CRC), offers a selection of hands-on science programs designed to educate and inspire students about fundamental science, conservation and environmental issues.

Founded on current SCBI research, these programs allow students to "become the scientist" by applying the same scientific methods and procedures used by our scientists.

Outreach programs are correlated with the Virginia Standards of Learning for Science, and are 55 minutes long in order to fit within a standard class period. These programs are offered to counties surrounding the SCBI and include Clarke, Frederick, Loudoun, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Warren, Winchester (City of). We are unable to deliver programs outside these counties.

Program Descriptions

Fancy Heads, Fancy Tails, Grade 1

Lets young learners discover how some animals are uniquely equipped with special adaptations on their heads and on their tails. more

What's for Lunch?, Grade 3

Is an excellent way to understand how scientists study the three consumer categories (herbivore, carnivore, and omnivore). Emphasis is placed on using the scientific method to determine consumer category based on dentition. more

Deer Ecology and Habitat Fragmentation, Grade 4

Introduces students to the ecology and biology of the variety of deer species that are studied by National Zoo scientists. more

Sea Turtles and Our Watersheds, Grade 6

Connects your students to their local and global watersheds through engaging activities that related to Smithsonian science and sea turtle research. more

Black-Footed Ferret: Bottleneck Genes Program, Grade 7

Gives students an opportunity to learn about one of the most endangered mammals in North America. They will hear the story of their plight and how National Zoo scientists are helping to save this species from extinction. more


Programs can be scheduled only on Tuesdays during the school year. The schedule fills quickly, so register early for your preferred dates.


$50 per class for the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Warren, and the City of Winchester.


Register online

Requests must be received one month in advance, and are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have technical difficulties, email, fax, or mail the following registration information:

  • School name, address, phone number, and email address
  • School district or county name
  • Teacher name(s)
  • Grade level(s) and class size(s)
  • First-, second-, and third-choice dates
  • Class time(s)
  • Directions to school

SCBI Front Royal Education Office
1500 Remount Road
Front Royal, VA 22630
fax: 540.635.6506