Denver Zoo Map

Zoo Lab: Poop to Power

Enrich Your Experience

7th - 12th Grade

These standards-based curricula capitalize on the Zoo’s wild animal ambassadors and naturalistic exhibits to bring science to life. Participants will be immersed in the topic of choice and get up close and personal with some of our education animal ambassadors.

Poop to Power

Let the zoo be your laboratory as you explore the science of sustainable energy and learn about Denver Zoo’s sustainable efforts.

Use science & engineering practices to design, construct and test mini-gasification reactors in this 3 hour program highlighting how trash becomes energetic treasure in our newest exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage.



Poop to Power

CAS 8th Grade Science 2.1: Human activities can deliberately or inadvertently alter ecosystems and their resiliency
CAS 8th Grade Science 1.3: Distinguish between physical and chemical changes, noting that mass is conserved during any change
CAS 8th Grade Science 1.2: There are different forms of energy, and those forms of energy can be changed from one form to another - but total energy is conserved
CAS High School Science 1.3:  Matter can change form through chemical or nuclear reactions abiding by the laws of conservation of mass and energy
CAS High School Science 1.6: When energy changes form, it is neither created not destroyed; however, because some is necessarily lost as heat, the amount of energy available to do work decreases


Weekdays, September – May
(Some weekends are possible, call 720-337-1408 to arrange)


Group pricing: 

Up to 30 students, 3-hour science lab:   $630 (Sept-Feb), $720 (Mar-May)

Groups of 31-50 students can potentially be accommodated for an additional $20 per student. Please contact us for availability.

The Denver Zoo Scholarship Fund helps offset the cost of programming for eligible groups.  When registering for a program online, please apply for the scholarship if interested.


Up to 30 participants

Enrichment Add-On

For an additional charge of $100, we can add a one-hour animal enrichment focused service-learning program to any workshop. Students will learn about animal enrichment and will create enrichment items (toys) for our zoo’s animal residents.


  • Please register at least THREE weeks in advance (requested dates are guaranteed upon confirmation by Denver Zoo).
  • Scholarships are available through Denver Zoo's Red Apple Fund.
  • For more information call 720-337-1488; or email
  • Bilingual programs may be available upon request.


Classes and programs canceled or rescheduled with less than two weeks notice before the scheduled program will be charged 50% of the total cost. Red Apple Scholarship awards will not apply to cancellation fees.


Compliance with Chaperone Policy is required to remain eligible for Discounted School Group Rates

1. To remain eligible for discounted School Group pricing, every school group visiting Denver Zoo must have at least one adult per ten students, regardless of the students’ ages.  Schools who do not bring at least one adult per ten students will be charged the full admission price upon check-in.

2. If you bring more than the required one teacher/chaperone for every ten students, please be advised that there is a maximum ratio of one teacher/chaperone for every five students that may attend any scheduled programs.  See table below for example requirements.

3. Special needs providers are admitted free. Teachers and School Staff are admitted at no charge.  Other Chaperones are charged at the discounted rate of $5.00 each. 

4. We accept ONE payment for the entire group.

5. All chaperones must enter the zoo at the same time as the group. Late arrivals will be required to pay full admission or use their zoo memberships.

6.   Adults bringing additional children (including infants) on the day of the visit are not considered chaperones and must pay full admission or use their memberships.  Additional children are subject to full admission.

7.  No additional children are permitted to attend educational programs.  Please advise adults with additional children to enjoy the zoo on their own until the education program is over.

Any students found to be unaccompanied by a chaperone will be held with Security until a teacher or chaperone can be located.  The Denver Zoo Education Department will also contact the school.  The school may face future zoo visit limitations.

ALL Chaperones, must:

A. Be at least 21 years old

B. Stay with their assigned group AT ALL TIMES, regardless of students’ ages.  Students are not allowed to “check in” intermittently with teachers/chaperones while at the Denver Zoo. This ensures the safety of students, other visitors and the animals.

Number of



Minimum No. of Chaperones


Maximum No. of Chaperones
















*For larger groups of students, please apply the same ratio of 1 per 10 minimum, 2 per 10 maximum. 

Only students in your class and the above maximum number of chaperones are allowed in the Education Program.  Chaperones above the maximum number may enjoy the zoo on their own during your Education Program and rejoin your group afterward. 

  • One adult per 10 students is REQUIRED for all groups (ECE-Grade 12).
  • School staff are admitted for free with staff ID.
  • One adult per special needs student is admitted free.
  • Adult chaperones paid for as part of the school group payment (single form of payment; one transaction for entire group) receive discounted admission rate of $5 each. Adults paying separately must pay full admission prices (Nov-Feb $12/March-Oct $15) or use their membership card.
  • Additional adults and children entering the zoo before or after the school group must pay full admission price when they arrive, or they may use their membership for themselves only.
  • Chaperones must be at least 21 years old.
  • Chaperones must stay with their assigned group at all times.
  • Adults bringing younger siblings/babies in strollers are welcome but may NOT be counted as chaperones and must pay full admission prices or use their Memberships. Extra children are subject to full admission prices.


Member adults chaperoning a field trip can enter through the Membership window with their Membership card and appropriate identification Member adults bringing additional children or younger siblings are not considered Field Trip chaperones and cannot be counted toward the 1:10 required ratio. Member students attending the trip cannot use their zoo membership for field trips and will need to pay the same fees as their classmates.


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