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WCS 3-Sentence Science

Zoos, Aquariums & STEM

November 22, 2019

CREDIT: JULIE LARSEN MAHER/WCS

Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.

Here we present work by WCS’s Shelley Rank on how zoos and aquariums can promote STEM learning.

  1. Researchers conducted a qualitative study using interactive workshops to understand the public’s perceptions of zoos and aquariums (Z/As) for their potential to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning.
  2. The primary STEM discipline they encountered was science as it related to animals, even though the opportunities were not explicit, but they also recognized that these settings offer the potential for learning about technology, engineering, and math through staff facilitation.
  3. Implications for STEM learning in informal settings are discussed for its potential to engage the public in STEM outside of the formal education context.

Study and Journal: “Multi-site case studies about zoo and aquarium visitors’ perceptions of the STEM learning ecology” from Visitor Studies
WCS Co-Author(s): Shelley Rank, Research and Evaluation Associate Bronx Zoo Education

For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, ssautner@wcs.org.

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Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.