STEAMing the Urban Forest

Join the Utica Zoo Education Department for a series of Educational Programs designed specifically for girls to be exposed to the STEAM and STEM job fields.

STEAM and STEM-based job fields in the United States have a severe lack of female representation. According to data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, women make up a mere 24% of STEM workers, despite representing 47% of the workforce. In order to be successful in these fields, it is imperative for young girls to be exposed to these career fields at a young age.

The new program will focus on real-world problems and will immerse the students in open-ended exploration and problem-solving. By using the elements of STEAM, students will work together as a group to solve problems while being exposed to a variety of STEAM based careers and methods.

Students will be tasked with exploring and inventorying a section of the North Trek Urban Forest, researching the needs of an animal of the Urban Forest, working with animal care and veterinary staff to learn what constitutes a healthy habitat, enhancing the environment for the benefit of their chosen animal, developing interpretive and informational materials, and ultimately presenting their findings to family, friends, and Zoo staff. In addition, female representatives from various supporting organizations will serve as guests to introduce the girls to real life, STEAM-based careers.

This program will be held on 8 consecutive Saturday mornings from 8:30am-12:30 pm starting May 11th. Cost is $50/girl with a limited number of need-based scholarships available.

Pre-Registration is required and may be done so by contacting Mary Hall at or 315-738-0472 x.36. Please contact Mary with any questions.

Learning Objectives:

Girls who complete this class will:

  • Have a better understanding of STEM careers and understand that they are capable of doing anything they put their mind to.
  • Understand the Urban Forest Ecosystem.
  • Understand Climate Change and its effect on the Urban Forest.
  • Identify a real-world problem in the Utica Zoo’s Forest and design a workable plan to help.
  • Learn about exhibit design and animal husbandry as well as modern zoological practices.
  • Experience a variety of scientific disciplines such as dendrology, zoology, soil sciences, invertebrate biology, weather and climate, Veterinary sciences.
  • Learn about recycled paper and make a journal for use in the class.
  • Measure and set up a grid for inventorying the forest.
  • Plan and prepare a fun interactive presentation on their project.

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