Time: 2 Hours (Can Be Shortened)
This engaging program teaches your students about different endangered species that can be found within Wyoming and around the World. We will look at what negative behaviors from humans impacted these species, what happened to them because of these behaviors, and how humans saved the species. Students will see skulls, pelts, feathers, and full animal mounts.
Like most of our on-grounds programs, the Endangered Species program includes an engaging educational lesson, hands-on animal biofact interaction, a fun activity, a specially themed scavenger hunt, and time for open exploration of the museum. Read below to learn more about each of these; remember, your program can be shortened to fit any time constraints.
Educational Lesson: 60 Minutes
The Endangered Species program is a great opportunity for students to learn about some of the rarest animals from within Wyoming, along with some of the most iconic endangered species from around the world! Your students will learn the conservation story of multiple animals. This includes any historic human disturbances (habitat loss, extermination, poison, etc.), modern day conservation issues (poaching, habitat loss, climate change), and how humans are helping to save them.
We’ll follow the journey of well known (and some unknown) species to learn what happened to them. Some of the animals we’ll learn about, like the Bald Eagle, have recovered so well that they are no longer endangered. Other species, like the polar bear, are still very much in trouble.
Your students will learn about animals like the black-footed ferret, golden eagles, whooping cranes, grizzly bears, Canada lynx, African elephants, sea otters, polar bears, and more!
Request this program today and learn all about some of the most amazing animals in the world!
Activity: 20 Minutes
For the activity for the Endangered Species program, you have two options. You can choose the scent game or an owl pellet dissection.
One of the endangered animals we’ll be learning about during this program is the black-footed ferret; scent if vital for their ability to find their prey. For the scent game, each of your students will be given a small vial with a mystery scent within it. Their goal is to find the one other student who has the same scent as they do. Your students will walk around, smelling the vials of their classmates, until they find their scent partner. This is a very fun game that students love to play! It also reinforces what your students will learn about senses!
Additionally, your students will be learning the conservation story of the Snowy Owl. So, the other activity available for this program is an owl pellet dissection! Owl pellets are one of the most interesting and unique aspects of bird evolution and behavior. Your students will be put in groups of four, and then given an owl pellet. They will utilize the tools at their table to dissect the pellet, sort the animal pieces, and then try to identify what animal was within their owl pellet! This incredibly fun activity is always a hit with students!
Scavenger Hunt: 20 Minutes
The Endangered Species scavenger hunt will bring your students through the museum, looking for certain items that pertain to what they learned about in their lesson. This will include skulls, pelts, and mounts of different endangered species and their prey species… along with depictions of these animals in both human artifacts and artwork. The scavenger hunts are completed in small groups or pairs.
Open Museum Exploration: 20 Minutes
While the scavenger hunt allows your students to see a curated selection of items within the museum, the open museum exploration time allows your students to explore whatever they are interested in. The Wyoming State Museum has so many topics (from dinosaurs to mining to pioneers to warfare to animals to Native American culture to national parks and more), that we find it is a great idea to give students free time at the end of the program to explore.