Bringing Early Learning Resources into the 21st Century: Pablo Python Online – Booth 31

Erin Prada, Wildlife Conservation Society, USA

Pablo Python—a highly effective and widely used set of curricula created in 1989 for K-3rd graders—is a core component of the early learning offerings for families, students, and teachers across the five Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Zoos and Aquarium in New York City, which see a collective four million visitors each year. With funding from IMLS, Pablo Python Online has been updated, expanded, and brought to new audiences through the addition of interactive online components. Our goal was to create integrated, digitally-rich curricular materials that could serve as an example of how to extend the ladder of engagement beyond museum walls.

Pablo Python Online now provides teachers, parents, and children with engaging and age-appropriate learning tools that are designed to enhance the educational value of a zoo experience and provide sustained, out-of-park learning opportunities. During this demonstration, you’ll have the opportunity to join Pablo, our friendly python guide, to explore the diverse habitats where his friends live. Along the way, you’ll stop to play games and learn about the amazing adaptations that help animals survive in some of the harshest places on the planet, from the heat of the grasslands to the cold of the Arctic. Together, you’ll match wildlife with their habitats and diets, play games about how animals use their specialized senses and body parts to help them survive, learn how the shape of an animal’s body can help us predict how it moves, and more.

This project addressed a series of interconnected needs for our institution and our audiences. For our institution, this project helped us reach a wider audience and deepen their engagement with science and conservation by offering new online components. For our audiences, we have responded to requests from parents and teachers alike for accessible resources to use before, during, and after zoo and aquarium visits, both at home and in the classroom.