The following programs are currently offered for teens. Please check back periodically, as new classes and programs will become available.
  • KidScience - Grades 6-8
    • IMG_0118KidScience is a year-long program designed to introduce middle school students to methods and principles related to conservation biology. KidScience students become part of the Zoo's research team, and get hands-on experience doing real animal behavior research. Through this program, students gain an understanding of research methods and skills, cooperation, and teamwork, environmental stewardship, and are exposed to animal- and science-related careers. Activities include classroom lessons, data collection and analysis, behind-the-scenes tours, research projects, and animal encounters. Kidscience activities also meet many of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards as well as the National Science Education Standards.

      Students who will be in grades 6, 7, or 8 in October may apply. As it is a two-year program, most students return the following year.

      Classes are held every other Saturday throughout the school year (October through May), followed by a three week summer session. Classes are four hours long and can be attended in a morning session from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. or an afternoon session from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

      KidScience students also receive two Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium KidScience T-shirts, discounts at all Zoo restaurants and gift shops, 10 free Zoo passes for family and friends, and free admission during regular Zoo hours.

      Tuition is $555 for Members and $695 for non-members. A limited number of scholarships are available to those who qualify. Click here to download a scholarship application.

      To apply, please download a KidScience application and a reference form. The application will need to be accompanied by a one-page essay (further instructions are available on the form). Two references are needed, so the reference form will needed to be printed and completed twice. Once completed, please mail these forms to:

      Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
      Attn: KidScience Coordinator
      One Wild Place
      Pittsburgh, PA 15206

      Once your application has been received, you will be contacted to come to the Zoo for an interview with the KidScience Coordinator. Sorry, online application is not available for the KidScience program.

      For more information, please contact mrevak@pittsburghzoo.org or 412-365-2567

  • Zoo U. - Grades 9-12
    • Zoo UThe Zoo U. program offers semester-based courses that allow high school students to explore new areas of science and conservation in a fun and exciting way. Students take an in-depth look at current research and topics in zoology, biology, ecology, and more. Classes are designed to be interactive and challenging for students in grades 9 to 12. Summer classes run Monday-Friday. Fall and Spring classes run two Saturdays per month for six sessions.

      A limited number of scholarships are available for those who qualify.

      For more information, please email mrevak@pittsburghzoo.org or call 412-365-2567.

      Fall 2014 Courses

      Spotlight on SSPs (Species Survival Plans)rhino5

      You might have heard the terms “Species Survival Plan,” “TAG,” and “Population Management Plan.” If you have ever wondered what they mean, how they work, and how the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is involved in these programs, come find out! We will be exploring the structure of these programs within AZA and getting an up close and personal look at the species involved. From Armadillos to Zebra sharks, this course will get us out and around the Zoo to learn about the behind-the-scenes species management within Zoos and Aquariums.

      Day and Time: Every other Saturday beginning September 27th
                            9am -11am OR 1pm - 3pm.  
                            6 class sessions
      Cost:     $155 for Zoo members, $180 for non-members
      Location: Education Complex (Classroom 4)


      Wild Jobs: Career Exploration Dr. Zoo
      Students will examine several different animal-related careers, with an emphasis on those related to animal care, research, and science.  In addition to career information, we will look at college programs and schools designed to prepare you for a future working in an environmental, animal-related, or scientific field.  Throughout the course, we will meet with people who are currently working in these areas, and you will learn what it takes to break into these highly competitive fields. Topics may include veterinary sciences, marine biology, and animal keeping.

      Day and Time:  Every other Saturday beginning September 27th
                            11am - 1pm
                            6 class sessions
      Cost:      $155 for Zoo members, $180 for non-members
      Location: Education Complex (Classroom 5/6) and Water’s Edge Conference Room


      Independent Study
      IMG_1097Whether you have a great idea for a research project or you want to conduct a study at the Zoo for a school or science fair project, the Independent Study option may be for you. Through Independent Study, you will work independently, but guidance from staff and keepers will help you complete the project.
      Requirements: Any student undertaking independent study must check in with staff at least twice a month and make adequate progress prior to each meeting. A final paper/project must be produced by a reasonable deadline.

      Day & Time: To be determined on an as-needed basis
      Cost: Free to those enrolled in other Zoo U. Courses

      Additonal Information
      Current or past Zoo U. students who are in 11th or 12th grade are also eligible to compete for the annual Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Conservation Leadership Award, a $500 college scholarship for an outstanding community conservation project. Please contact mrevak@pittsburghzoo.org for more information.

      Zoo U. classes change each semester, so there is sure to be a course that interests you. Recent classes topics include Marine Biology, Big Cats, Island Ecology, Career Exploration, and more. Check back regularly to learn about new Zoo U. opportunities.

  • Keeper Interactions - Grades 10-12
    • Pizza 1The Zoo offers two opportunities for high school students to connect with Keepers and Aquarists and learn more about these exciting career fields: Keeper Conversations and Pizza with the Keepers.

      Keeper Conversations
      $13 per session
      Students in grades 10-12 (no younger participants, please) who would like to shadow a zookeeper will tour animal areas as they chat with keepers and aquarists about the work they love. Space is limited for this exclusive opportunity. Keeper Conversations are held the first Tuesday of every month:

      October 7, 2014 - Cats & Reptiles/Red Panda
      November 4, 2014 - Elephants/Giraffes & PPG Aquarium and Water's Edge
      December 2, 2014 - Primates* & PPG Aquarium
      February 3, 2015 - Cats & PPG Aquarium
      March 3, 2015 - Primates* & PPG Aquarium
      April 7, 2015 - Kids Kingdom & Elephants/Giraffes
      * primate tours are not behind the scenes


      Pizza with the Keepers - $22 per session

      Sunday, October 5, 2014
      High school students (grades 10-12, no younger participants please) are invited to join keepers, aquarists, and veterinary staff for an informal lunch to discuss animal-related career goals. Staff from Kids Kingdom, the reptile department, the mammal department, PPG Aquarium, and veterinary/animal care may be in attendance. Space is limited for this popular program.


      Please email reservations@pittsburghzoo.org if you have any questions about either program.  Please note that because of the large number of requests and keeper availability, we are not able to schedule individual job shadowing experiences. 

  • Wildlife Academy Family Workshop - All Ages
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      Family Fun and Animal Friends

      Fee: Members $8/person ages 2 and over
             Non-members $14/person ages 2 and over
               Saturday, September 27th   10 am - 12 pm
               Saturday, September 27th    1 pm - 3 pm
               Sunday, September 28th  10 am - 12 pm
               Sunday, September 28th   1 pm - 3 pm

      The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is fun for kids of all ages! Bring the whole family (siblings and infants are permitted in this program) and join us for a day dedicated to "What's new at the Zoo." Songs, storytelling, crafts, and close encounters with our education animals will bring this class to life


      *Please note, if you are a member you must sign in using the tab in the upper right-hand corner of the page after you click the "register online" button in order to receive your member discount. Please confirm that the member rate is shown in your cart before you enter credit card information and check out.

  • Wildlife Academy - Ages 6-Adult
    • GentooPenguin_2

      All About Penguins

      Saturday, Septemeber 20, 2014- 9:30  am – 11 am
      $32 per person ($25 with member discount)

      Join us in the Water's Edge Event Space for a special presentation with Katy Wozniak, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s penguin expert. Katy will give you the inside scoop on caring for these cool birds. After breakfast, get an up close look at the Zoo’s penguins while you watch a feeding session. This program is appropriate for ages
      6 and up (no younger participants, please). Space is limited and preregistration online is required.


      Please note, if you are a member, you must sign in using the tab in the upper right-hand corner of the page after you click the "register online" button in order to receive your member discount. Please confirm that the member discount is shown in your cart before you enter credit card information and check out.

  • Zoo Teens - Ages 14-17 Summer Volunteer Program
    • IMG_3119The Zoo Teens summer volunteer program is available for students ages 14-17. It is a great way to learn more about animals and zoo careers.

      Registration for this program is limited and fills up very quickly, and all openings for 2014 have been filled. To give your teen the best chance to be interviewed for this program, be sure to register on the first business day in January. Please call the Zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator at 412-365-2524 on Friday, January 2, 2015, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If you have any questions prior to January, please email the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@pittsburghzoo.org.
  • Field Trips
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      The Zoo offers a wide variety of options for your group's field trip. With tailored options for age groups from preschool to college level, your school, organization, or recreational group can plan an exciting experience for your Zoo outing.

      Please see the course offerings for young audiences below, and then, refer to the complete field trip PDF for all the forms you will need to schedule your trip, including all the information you need about our class offerings, policies, admission, lunches, souvenirs, and overnight trips.