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School Programs

Virtual and Free
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Registration for fall virtual programs is now open! Registration for spring virtual programs opens Nov. 10. Note: due to COVID-19, the Zoo’s on-site school programs are still on hold.

Discover animals, habitats and conservation through engaging virtual programs with an educator from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips are discussion-oriented lessons designed for groups of 10 to 100 students that correspond with Next Generation Science Standards. Programs are live and approximately 45 minutes long. Many programs include views of the Zoo’s animals, but seeing animals is never guaranteed. These programs take place on Zoom or the school’s approved virtual platform. Students will be visible to the Zoo educator and their classmates and will have the ability to raise their hands to engage or ask questions.

In order to participate in this format, those registering will need to sign a consent form indicating permission for students to participate in virtual programs.  

What Makes a Habitat a Home? 

Explore habitats around the world. From deserts to rainforests, what makes these habitats suitable animal homes?

Grades: K-3

Suited for Survival

Learn how adaptations help animals thrive. From camouflaging sand cats to armored armadillos, each unique adaptation serves an important purpose.

Grades: K-5

Lifecycles of the Smooth and Scaly 

How does a salamander go from an egg to an adult? Discover the stages of amphibian lifecycles, from water to land.

Grades: K-3

Incredible Ectotherms 

Snakes, salamanders, caecilians, oh my! Explore the commonalities and differences between some incredible ectotherms. 

Grades: K-4

Zoo Walk 

Come along on a virtual tour as we explore animals at the Zoo. Your choice of three trails: American Trail, Lions and Tigers, or Cheetah Conservation Station. Seeing animals is not guaranteed. Offered seasonally.

Grades: K-5

Rainforest Walk 

Fly, leap and swim along on an adventure through the Amazon Rainforest to explore the sights and sounds of plants and animals living in this unique ecosystem. 

Grades: K-5

Detective Dentition

Put your detective skills to the test and uncover the identity of several African animals by examining their skulls and using clues about consumer groups. 

Grades: 3-5

Public Virtual Programs

These public programs are designed for a variety of students to join and learn together, from small groups and home-school students to large groups or schools. Programs take place on Zoom in webinar format. In this format, audio and video is disabled but students can actively participate using polls, Q&A and chat. Visit the webinars page for more information.

UnZOOsual Careers

In this monthly series, discover the variety of careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) at the Zoo. Held on the first Friday of the month at 1 p.m. ET.

Grades: 6-8

Assembly Programs

This series is a public version of our virtual field trips. Program topics rotate monthly and are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. ET. 

Grades: K-5

Animal Celebrations

Throughout the year, check for special edition programs celebrating endangered species and conservation success stories.    

Grades: K-12

How to Register

All Zoo virtual programs are free, but registration is required for most. See the Virtual Programs Calendar for more information and to register for an upcoming program.

Register for a Program


Contact the Zoo's Center for Learning Innovation at nzp-education@si.edu.