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Wade Institute for Science Education: 2023 Rise to the Challenge Focus Workshop Series

Canton, Massachusetts and New Bedford, Massachusetts
Hosted By:
Wade Institute for Science Education; Lloyd Center for the Environment; Buttonwood Park Zoo

Get ready to Rise to the Challenge in this Focus Workshop series based on our Massachusetts STEM Week Challenges. From extreme weather to deserted islands and zoo makeovers, there’s a challenge for everyone! Experience a variety of hands-on, inquiry-based STEM activities designed to support your students in using the Science and Engineering Practices. Explore how phenomena can spark curiosity, drive investigation, and make learning relevant for students. Receive a curriculum packet and materials kit to implement the challenge in your classroom!

Extreme Zoo Makeover

A Two-Day Focus Workshop

Challenge: Your local Zoo wants a makeover! As we learn more about animals’ needs, we’ve realized the Zoo’s old habitats are no longer adequate and it’s up to you and your engineering team to redesign them. You must find a way to 1) design habitats that meet the specific needs of the animals for which you are designing them, 2) engineer an enrichment item for your animal species that will stimulate natural behaviors, and 3) create an interpretive sign and interactive features that will engage the public in your animal habitat.

Investigations include designing habitats that meet the specific needs of different animals, engineering an enrichment item, and creating an interpretive sign with interactive features. The challenge culminates in the design, construction, and presentation of a model zoo habitat for a chosen animal. During this workshop, you’ll participate in all elements of the challenge, explore how the Buttonwood Park Zoo supports the animals in their care, and have the opportunity to collaborate and reflect with instructors and fellow attendees.

Dates: Friday, March 8th and Saturday, March 9th 2024 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM ET)

Location: Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford, MA

Collaborating Partner: Lloyd Center for the Environment; Buttonwood Park Zoo


Registration Information

Cost: $250 per workshop; $450 for 2 workshops; $650 for all 3 workshops

PDPs and Optional Graduate Credit for Each Workshop: 14 PDPs available without graduate credit. 22.5 PDPs and 1 graduate credit are available for an additional cost.

Grade Levels: The challenges are designed for middle school students but are easily adaptable to upper elementary or high school settings.

You can participate in one, two, or all three workshops! 

Learn more and register.