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Advanced Biology – Zoology Detroit Zoo Field Trip

Lesley Tracy

Dexter High School

I found out five years ago there was no longer a budget for my Detroit Zoo – Zoology field trip; therefore, 2016-2017 was the first year I applied for an EFD Grant. There are several ways this grant will enrich our Zoology curriculum. Zoology is a very hands-on, exploratory course that focuses on comparative anatomy among organisms. Students learn about animals ranging from invertebrates to mammals. The Zoo trip is a culminating opportunity that allows students to view animals in their simulated natural environments. Some students have never had the opportunity to see exotic animals in-person. In addition, this trip helps students to see the importance of taking care of the environment as it has a significant impact on the lives and welfare of animals. Finally, visiting the zoo educates students about possible zoological careers. Upon returning from the zoo, students write a comprehensive report regarding select animals from their visit and connect this to the curriculum we have studied throughout the semester.


This grant will provide continued benefit to students. The Detroit Zoo Field Trip opens the eyes to students regarding the possibility of career options.

Here is a written response from a student, Devyn Baron, who attended the Detroit Zoo field as a Junior during the 2016-2017 school year:

“I think your zoology class was one of the most important classes in my high school career. I learned many different important concepts in your class including animal groups and their similarities and the body functions of those different groups. I learned some much-needed basic information that will be very useful in my future zoological career. When we took that trip to the Detroit Zoo at the end of the year, I realized that I might really like to be a zookeeper so I've added it to my list along with animal rehabilitator and marine animal trainer. I appreciate all of the information that you taught me and all the time that you put into making the class not only enjoyable, but also understandable….”

Here is another response from a student, Maddie Wright, who attended the zoo during the 2017-2018 school year:

"My name is Madison Wright. I am a senior at Dexter High School who was in the Zoology class that went to the Zoo! I am someone who is in love with learning about the anatomy and physiology of animals. Which is one of the reasons why I took this class. I am so thankful that I was also able to go to the Detroit Zoo as part of the learning process of this class. All semester I was looking forward to this class trip and I was not disappointed with the outcome. I learned and experienced so much more than I expected to. It was the perfect way to end the semester, and the perfect way to really embrace all of the animals that I was studying.

I truly believe that going to the Zoo as a part of this class was something that made a huge impact on all of the students’ knowledge and study of animals. There is always an outstanding amount of students that want to be involved in this class every year. This is because the information that you learn is fun and knowledgeable. Also, including the Zoo trip into the curriculum is something that makes this class thrive in student involvement.

As I said before, I love studying animals in Zoology this year! I really am amazed at the significance of including the Zoo trip in the curriculum. This class is taught by a teacher who makes everything interesting and fun in the classroom. I overall enjoyed my time in this class and am sad to go."

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