Science board honors the Bronx Zoo's Education Division for public service

The National Science Board (NSB), the 24-member policy body of the National Science Foundation and advisor to the President on national science policy is honoring the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo, Education Division with the 2001 NSB Public Service Award for organizations.

The society's education programs of the Bronx Zoo reach thousands of students and teachers every year nationwide. They serve as prototypes for many similar education programs at zoos around the world.

"The reach of the Bronx Zoo's education programs is so wide, and the impact is so dramatic, that we will see a whole new generation of young people appreciating the life sciences and the sensitivity of our environment," Eamon Kelly, NSB chairman, said. "It's hard to imagine any organization more deserving of this award."

The NSB award cited the Wildlife Conservation Society's education activities in fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public, and for engaging scientists in public outreach and ecological literacy. The society's Bronx Zoo Education Division has been a leader in many of these activities since its creation in 1929. It is now the oldest such division of any zoological institution in the nation. It was the first to use its resources to develop comprehensive K-12 life science curricula and the first to design hands-on teaching environments, while offering major national workshops and instructional leadership seminars for educators.

In the mid-1980s, the society pioneered a classroom program for grades 6-12 that used a focus on wildlife to capture students' imagination and motivate them to pursue studies of the life sciences. The program--WIZE (Wildlife Inquiry through Zoo Education)--has been used in classrooms across the U.S. and in 13 other countries.

The Bronx Zoo subsequently developed three other life science curricula, which span kindergarten through the 12th grade and are used in every state in th

Contact: Dave Vannier
National Science Foundation

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