Sand Creek Middle School teachers Stacey Sebert (7th and 8th grade science) and Jim Brown (grade 5/6 STEM), participated in a teacher professional development workshop in conservation science at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA, in August.
Housing was at the Safari Park’s Roar and Snore campground. Being in the park after hours provided a unique opportunity to hear the different animals in the park throughout the night. On the first day of their trip, Zuli, a 270-pound baby elephant was born, so they were some of the first to see the new addition to the Safari Park, as well as tour the veterinarian hospital (in the park) that cares for the animals. During their stay, the teachers were able to complete laboratory and field based activities that provided applicable, standards-based conservation science programs for their students.
On a side note, the two were able to experience firsthand what some Californians are dealing with when they were evacuated from the facility because wildfires were bearing down on the area they were in. They were relocated to a neighboring town until the fire was contained, and were able to return to their activities the next day.