Teaching the World

The North Carolina Zoo’s Education Section offers a wide selection of programs designed to meet the needs of preschoolers, children in grades K-12, college students, life-long learners, and professional educators. Many programs include hands-on activities or visits from a Zoo animal ambassador in their lesson plans. Donations to “Teaching the World” help the Zoo expand the reach of its quality education programs and advance its missions to inspire diverse audiences to learn about and care for wildlife and the natural world. 

To learn more or to support these programs, click the donation bar below.


NEW! You Can Make an Automatic Monthly Donation to Zoo Education.

To become a monthly sustainer of the Zoo’s efforts to Teach the World, check the “recurring donation option” on your order form, and we will automatically charge the same amount to your credit card every month. Don’t worry; you can easily stop your automatic donations at any time by following the instructions printed on the bottom of the receipt you will receive each month.

Teaching The World

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Subtotal $10.00

Total due $10.00

Recurring amount (if any) $10.00

Zoo Education Programming

The NC Zoo offers a variety of educational programs for its visitors. For example, kidZone is a Zoo exhibit designed to encourage children to play outdoors. It provides a safe, reliable place for children to explore nature, connect with bugs and plants, develop empathy for animals and people, and enjoy everything under the sun.

This facility is also a centerpiece for the Zoo’s growing professional training programs in Playful Pedagogy. The Zoo also operates SmartCarts in various locations; these are small, portable and hands-on learning stations packed with interesting biological specimens and staffed by enthusiastic staff and volunteers eager to share their knowledge of the Zoo and its animals.

For an overview of all of the Zoo’s education programs, please see the Zoo’s Education Division page.

Animal Ambassador Program

The Zoo is working to expanding its Animal Ambassador Program, which allows guests more opportunities to get close to a greater variety of wild creatures.

Expanding this program will require the Zoo to increase the number of habitats available to house these animals and will, of course, require staff to bring in and care for additional creatures. These additions and changes are small compared to the massive changes that must be put in place to bring tigers or Komodo Dragons to the Zoo, which means that these changes can come about more quickly than most Zoo expansions. And, because animals enrolled in this program are generally smallish—no larger than a skunk or, say, a sloth—a relatively small donation can make a huge difference for this program.

Best of all, the closeness these animals provide helps the Zoo staff teach values as well as science. Close encounters with animals help teach empathy and compassion, and can inspire a lifetime of caring and learning about nature.


The North Carolina Zoo’s UNITE conservation education and teacher training project in Uganda has been operating in the villages around Kibale National Park in Uganda for more than ten years. UNITE promotes environmentally sound attitudes, knowledge and skills in native people by supporting local environmental and conservation education efforts. UNITE provides teachers with the tools and resources they need to teach about wildlife and resource conservation, and supports three Ugandan educators on a full-time basis to work with over 100 teachers in 10 local schools.