COmmunity Engagement

Brookfield Zoo Chicago offers free community-based programming for all ages through our King Conservation Leadership Academy Community Engagement team. The programs of Zoo Adventure Passport! (ZAP!) and King Conservation Science Explorers (King Explorers) both welcome individuals and families from across Chicagoland to participate in nature-based learning that cultivates science skills and conservation awareness as they connect to the environment, our communities, and each other.

Families that register for, and attend, multiple eligible programs provided by the Community Engagement team of the King Conservation Leadership Academy can earn access to special invite-only programs and events in the community and at the zoo throughout the year..

Project-Based learning for Middle School Children
(Grades 6-8)


King Conservation Science Explorers (King Explorers) are creative problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and the change-makers of tomorrow.

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Family-based Learning Opportunities
for all ages (children and adults)


Zoo Adventure Passport! (ZAP!) programs are intentionally designed to be multi-generational experiential learning opportunities that foster connections between participants, wildlife, and nature while building empathy for all living things.



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All programming presented by the King Conservation Leadership Academy Community Engagement team of Brookfield Zoo Chicago aims to provide learning opportunities that support lifelong STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education. This is done by supporting individuals in:

• Developing interest in environmental science and conservation;

• Understanding environmental science and conservation knowledge;

• Engaging in scientific reasoning related to environmental science and conservation;

• Reflecting on their own process of learning about environmental science and conservation;

• Engaging in scientific practices used in environmental science and conservation; and

• Identifying as a member of the global pro-environmental community by contributing to environmental science and conservation action in our programs and in their everyday lives.

The Community Engagement programs, which may also be referred to as the Early Learner programs, of the King Conservation Leadership Academy are made possible, in part, with support from: the King Family Foundation, BNSF Railway Foundation, FedEx Corporation, the Julius N. Frankel Foundation, the Gerald A. and Karen A. Kolschowsky Foundation Inc., the Edmond and Alice Opler Foundation, Peoples Gas Community Fund, the Schmidgall Family Foundation, the Dr. Scholl Foundation, and Wintrust Financial Corporation.

The King Conservation Leadership Academy is a programmatic suite that serves individuals from 'Cradle to Gray,' and it is just one of the many offerings from the Education & Community Engagement department of Brookfield Zoo Chicago.