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Zoo 101: Animal Nutrition

Zoo 101 is a project-based class that explores major topics in the inner workings of a zoo. Each session, Zoo 101 explores a different core topic in zoo management and is appropriate for students ages 11-14, or those students who have completed three full years of Zoo Homeschool programs.

About Animal Nutrition: The Smithsonian's National Zoo is home to more than 2,700 animals, representing more than 390 species from across all major animal taxa groups, from large mammals to tiny invertebrates — and they all have to eat! 

In this 10-week course, students dig into the details of how the Smithsonian's National Zoo and other zoos around the country support the health and welfare of the animals in their care through proper nutrition and diets. They will explore how nutrition scientists generate body-conditioning scores for animals, discover how staff develop general species and individual animal dietary plans, learn how an animal's diet in the wild impacts its natural behaviors and needs in a zoo setting, and even dig into the creative ways that staff ensure animals get their vitamins!

Zoo 101 is a 10-week, drop-off-only program. There will be no class on Feb. 21 and 28.

Member cost: 

Non-member cost: 

Class Type: 

Age range: 11 - 14

Class Sessions

Date(s): Thursday, January 17 to Thursday, April 4 (class meets on Thursdays from 1-3 p.m.)
Time: 1:03 pm to 3:03 pm