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ZooCrew students get hands-on experience with wildlife conservation

Posted by: Stacey Hammond, Education

The ZooCrew after school program season has come to a close.

This past quarter, the students studied the Asian tropical rain forest. They learned about deforestation and how the palm oil and lumber industries impact animals across the globe. After learning about the issues, the students took action to help animals by working on various projects.


One of the projects was contributing to a citizen science initiative called WildSense. Students helped record and document global tiger populations by going through tourist photos and camera trap images and classifying tigers in them. The students started off by first identifying if the photo had a tiger in it. Next, the students recorded the number of tigers in the photo, the weather conditions, the tiger’s general location, behavior, etc. After classifying over 100 images, ZooCrew students gave their feedback and suggestions to the developers in the hopes of improving the user experience for other citizen scientists. Anyone can download this free app and participate! It’s a great way to help scientists and tigers!

Tigers on Tour

Other students got in touch with their creative side by participating in a mini Tigers on Tour project. The Show Your Stripes tiger art tour is a Woodland Park Zoo initiative to raise awareness about tiger conservation through art. After learning about the campaign and the 10 life-sized tiger sculptures created by local artists, the inspired ZooCrew students jumped in to create their own tigers on tour, highlighting the conservation issues they learned about during the quarter. Using recycled materials, the students crafted miniature tigers, which will be featured on zoo grounds (locations will be announced soon). You can get a sneak peak of them at the upcoming Hoot for the Hood event on June 26. 

Asian Wildlife Conservation Day Trading Cards

A third group of students created trading cards for the zoo’s Asian Wildlife Conservation Day, an annual event in August celebrating the wildlife of Asia. ZooCrew students researched various animals and drew pictures of them on the front of the cards. They wrote up information about the animals and the conservation issues affecting the animals on the back of the cards. Through this project, the students learned about how the power of art and conservation messages can inspire others to take action. Come to Asian Wildlife Conservation Day in August to collect these beautiful pieces of artwork!

Zoo Field Trip

The year finished up with a bang as the students presented their projects to other ZooCrew students, their families, school staff, ZooCorps, and zoo staff at their quarterly field trip to the zoo. They even got to visit the new Banyan Wilds exhibit and meet some of the staff who helped design the exhibit!

Bear Affair

For the final event of the season, students from the winter ZooCrew session returned to the zoo to share their northwest projects with visitors at the zoo’s Bear Affair: Living Northwest Conservation Day. Students showcased their bat houses and encouraged visitors to find them hanging up on zoo grounds. Learn more about this past project and come to the zoo to see if you can spot the four bat houses hanging up (hint: two are near Komodo dragons and two are near lions).

Thank you ZooCrew students for all of your hard work this year. We are so proud of you! Also a special thanks to all of our community partners, ZooCorps volunteers, and zoo staff that help make this program possible! We look forward to another great ZooCrew season starting in fall 2015.