Zoo and Aquarium Education Programs Thrive with Help from National Grid

Donation part of National Grid’s Engineering Our Future Initiative to support science- and math-focused education programs at the WCS’s New York Aquarium, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo

New York – September 30, 2011- The Wildlife Conservation Society has partnered with National Grid in support of two important education initiatives.

National Grid has made a $225,000 contribution to support WCS science-focused educational programs. This support is a part of National Grid’s Engineering Our Future Initiative to encourage young people to study science, technology, engineering, and math.

National Grid’s multi-year commitment will support: (1) the docent program at WCS’s New York Aquarium; and (2) Conservation Math presented by National Grid at WCS’s New York Aquarium, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo, a suite of education programming at all three facilities.

“We are grateful to National Grid for this opportunity to inspire young people in ways that will help secure a better future for the next generation," said Bertina Ceccarelli, Executive Vice President for Global Resources. "Through this support, we can encourage student participants to make conservation an important part of their daily lives and to consider careers in the sciences."

A zoo or aquarium visit can provide valuable knowledge and conservation awareness. For example, a WCS survey demonstrated that 88 percent of visitors to the Bronx Zoo’s Congo Gorilla Forest stated that the exhibit helped them understand basic concepts about ecology.

“National Grid is committed to supporting initiatives that inspire youth to pursue science, technology, engineering and math skills,” said Ken Daly, National Grid president for New York.  “The Wildlife Conservation Society’s unique math and science programs are a way to engage students in an interesting, fun way and at the same time, directly supports our Engineering Our Future Initiative to make sure that all of our students have the option to choose engineering as a career choice.”

  • About the Initiatives: The Teen Docent Program at the New York Aquarium: The Teen Docent program helps New York City youth learn important natural science and ecological principles while developing positive attitudes toward wildlife and promoting awareness of the environment among aquarium visitors. Docents work with a team of animal experts who enjoy sharing their knowledge with others while supporting WCS’s mission to save wildlife and wild places around the globe. The program has the potential to provide valuable public speaking skills and hands-on learning opportunities to nearly 100 docents and reaches approximately 40,000 visitors.
  • Conservation Math Presented by National Grid at the New York Aquarium, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo: From investigating animal adaptation in the wild to observing species and analyzing survey data in the classroom, this initiative includes a range of math and science-focused education programs that serve various school groups throughout the metropolitan area. National Grid’s support has enabled WCS to offer free of charge 50 Conservation Math classes annually.
  • At the New York Aquarium: This exciting, interactive, content-rich program serves nearly 700 students and instructors from pre-school through high school, including children with special needs. A wide range of grade-specific education programs enrich science and math learning in the classroom and inspire students to appreciate the wonders of aquatic wildlife. For example, “In the Sea,” a station-based learning program, encourages preschoolers to sharpen math and observational skills by exploring symbiosis, camouflage, and taxonomy among diverse sea animals.    
  • At the Queens and Prospect Park Zoos: This program, which reaches nearly 1,050 students and instructors from sixth to eighth grade focuses on topics such as animal behavior and adaptations, animal enrichment and data collection. The class, Animal Behavior and Enrichment, offers students hands-on experiences that replicate those of animal behavior researchers, such as animal observation, data collection, and graphing. Lessons incorporate literacy and math skills and use the zoos’ animal exhibits to teach biology and help students understand the importance of preserving natural resources.

More information about these and other exciting education programs can be found online at www.nyaquarium.com, www.queenszoo.com, and www.prospectparkzoo.com.

Contact:
Barbara Russo – 718-265-3428; brusso@wcs.org
Max Pulsinelli – 718- 220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org   

 


Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium opens every day of the year at 10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $14.95 for adults, $10.95 for children ages 3-12 and $11.95 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 3pm, admission is by suggested donation. The aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other Aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at http://www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn's most heavily attended attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.


The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo - Open every day of the year.  Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, $5 for children 3 to 12, and free for children fewer than 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. Tickets are sold until one half-hour before closing. The zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue. For more information call 718-399-7339 or go to www.prospectparkzoo.com <http://www.prospectparkzoo.com>


The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo – Open every day of the year. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. The Queens Zoo is located at 53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadow’s Corona Park in Queens. For further information, call 718-271-1500 or visit www.queenszoo.com.


National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.


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.

 


Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to wcs.org.

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