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ZooQuarium Online Learning Launches

Connect with science through animals and educators.


Tacoma, Wash.—With most schools all-online this fall, many parents and educators are scrambling to supplement and engage students in core areas like science. In response, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium created ZooQuarium Online Learning, a brand new program launching Sept. 9. Using Zoom, ZooQuarium Online Learning offers a fun, interactive, online lesson delivering key science concepts while learning about a topic most kids love: animals!

During each lesson a Zoo Educator will lead real-time discussions and observation activities that focus on animal adaptations, ecosystems and wildlife conservation. During these lessons, kids will also see Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium animals in action and hear from their caretakers.

ZooQuarium lessons are available at scheduled times for individual bookings, and a weekly on-demand schedule is available for groups such as classrooms, home school groups or Scout groups.

Engaging, interactive and fun, the lessons are perfect for families and home learning pods. The suggested age range varies from 6-13 depending on the program. While the programs target elementary and middle school students, older students would benefit as well. Instructors are experienced in adjusting program content and delivery style for students of all ages.

Upcoming lessons for individual participants include:

  • Wild Cats: Find out how Sumatran tigers, acrobatic clouded leopards, a leaping serval and a Canada lynx compare with other cats around the world, see some of the Zoo cats practice their hunting skills and learn some fascinating feline facts. (Sept. 9 at 10 a.m., Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.)
  • Sea Otters: Furry Ocean Heroes: Learn about sea otters and how they help keep kelp forests alive! See Point Defiance Zoo’s sea otters have some fun and learn what it takes to care for them. (Sept. 16 at 10 a.m., Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.)
  • Journey of the Red Wolf: Discover how American red wolves are different from their gray wolf and coyote cousins. See our wolf pack in action and hear the story of how these shy and critically endangered species have their own team of heroes working to protect them.  (Sept. 23 at 10 a.m., Sept. 25 at 1 p.m.)
  • Fin Facts About Sharks: With over 450 species of sharks, there’s so much to learn! Find out about the unique adaptations of the nine species that live in our aquariums and how they compare to cookie-cutters sharks and the extinct Megalodon. (Sept. 30 at 10 a.m., Oct. 2 at 1 p.m.)

Every lesson includes opportunities to get to know the animals that make their home at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. All of these programs are also available for groups, click here to see those dates/times.

“Each ZooQuarium Online Learning lesson is designed to engage learners in life science while including fun opportunities to get to know some of the our Zoo & Aquarium animals as they show off their talents and personalities,” said Education Program Coordinator Cathleen McConnell, who teaches the lessons.

Individuals pay $10 per program, while the group rate is $75.

All programs incorporate life science concepts and core ideas described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in all Washington schools.

In addition to ZooQuarium, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s sister zoo, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, offers a similar program: Online Wildlife Academy. Those lessons include learning about wolverines, bears and raptors. Students can also learn how to observe wildlife and what animals need to survive, explore why animals need enrichment and dive into freshwater insect life in the Pacific Northwest.

To register for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s ZooQuarium Online Learning, visit:

To register for Northwest Trek’s Online Wildlife Academy, visit:


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, practices and promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s resources. A member of the Metro Parks Tacoma family, the zoo creates a legacy of sustainability for future generations through education, conservation, research and recreational opportunities; it also embodies Metro Parks’ mission of creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA). The Zoo Society, a 501(c)(3) organization, is an instrumental partner in the conservation, animal-welfare and education initiatives.


Whitney DalBalcon: 253-278-6343 or

Tessa LaVergne: 253-686-6927, or