WCS Earns Top Honors for Education Program

Online Teacher Academy receives Education Award from Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Bronx, NY – Sept. 20, 2012 – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums awarded its top honor for educational programming to the Wildlife Conservation Society for the Online Teacher Academy that helps educators discover teaching methods while inspiring student learning and conservation action.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Education Department was presented with the award at a ceremony at the 2012 AZA Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in educational program design – judging programs on their ability to promote conservation knowledge, attitudes and behavior, show innovation, and measure success.

WCS created the Online Teacher Academy in 2007 with support from the Laura J. Niles Foundation. The Online Teacher Academy introduces educators to life science content, teaching methods, and new technology while using resources like zoos and aquariums as serious tools for teaching science. The program helps teachers further develop their understanding of the living world and revitalize their love of nature and science.

“This web-based resource for teacher professional development has already made a tremendous difference in teaching educators about conservation in New York City, across the country, and around the globe,” said Don Lisowy, WCS Director of Education. “The project uses the power of animals and nature as vehicles to engage teachers and, by association, their students. We are hopeful that it will serve as a model for the development of future science education programs.”

The Online Teacher Academy reinforces the use of zoos, aquariums, and other science institutions as important resources for teachers. Through professional development, the Academy makes a significant impact on environmental and conservation education in the classroom.

Online Teacher Academy includes a suite of seven online graduate courses taught by WCS’s education staff, WCS webinars featuring WCS’s field conservation staff, and resources to support teaching and learning.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Education Department serves more than 100,000 students and 2,400 teachers annually. It works across New York City to provide science, technology, engineering, and math education to underserved students and offers subsidized and free programs to thousands of students from all five New York City boroughs each year.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends. Adult admission is $16.95, children (3-12 years old) $11.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14.95. Parking is $14 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.


Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org

Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org

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