In an effort to meet the growing needs for families navigating the new remote learning environment, the Santa Barbara Zoo recently announced it will be expanding its existing Outdoor Ed program with a new play-based early education, known as Early Explorers.
Established in 2014, the Zoo’s Outdoor Ed program is typically offered as a homeschool program. However, this year the Zoo is expanding its Outdoor Ed program by opening enrollment to traditional public school students who are interested in a one day a week alternative to independent, at-home learning. Open to students between ages 3 and 15, during an eight-week session, students will explore scientific topics via recording observations, evaluating problems, and developing solutions.
Created for children between 3 and 5, Monday’s release states the Early Explorer program focuses on teaching through rich experiences where children will learn a deep appreciation for the natural world through gardening, outdoor play, exploration and discovery in the Zoo’s 28-acre outdoor “classroom.”
In order to enhance the development of both academic and social skills, the new program has a student-to-teacher ratio of nine-to-one. In addition, students are placed in mixed-age groups and will participate in train rides, animal encounters, and art classes.
To ensure the safety of students and teachers, Outdoor Ed will be held exclusively outside in designated zones away from the public and will follow all health and safety guidelines.
According to the release, the Zoo’s first session is already full, however, registration is now open for the second session between Nov. 9- Jan. 22. For more details on registration visit https://www.sbzoo.org/learn/outdoor-ed/.