ASHEBORO —The NC Zoo Society and North Carolina Zoo are excited to partner with T-Mobile to provide classroom kits that support incorporating nature exploration, playful learning, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) approaches into local classroom curricula.
“Outdoor play and learning can have an impact on learning by decreasing stress and increasing focus, attention, motivation and engagement. Playful learning is flexible, always changing and supports creativity and fun. When students enjoy learning, they are more inclined to continue learning for its own sake,” said Linda Kinney, education specialist at the North Carolina Zoo.
Jan. 4-7, North Carolina Zoo education staff and NC Zoo Society staff delivered Playful Pedagogy Kits to 589 educators at 23 elementary schools throughout Alamance County, Forsyth County, Randolph County, Stokes County, and Davidson County. The goal of the project is to support educators working with children in acquiring fresh perspectives on their approach to engaging with children in nature. The kits include strategies, lesson plan ideas, craft ideas, and more to encourage playful learning outdoors.
In conjunction with the Playful Pedagogy Kit distribution, the Zoo hosted a Playful Pedagogy “Play in Practice” workshop for educators Dec. 4, 2021. The kit distribution increases accessibility for North Carolina educators unable to attend the workshop. Stay tuned to the Zoo’s website at www.nczoo.org/education/ for future professional development workshops for educators.
T-Mobile is supporting the range of North Carolina Zoo Playful Pedagogy efforts with a $20,000 sponsorship.