Twenty Keota eighth grade GEAR UP students recently traveled to the Tulsa Zoo. Students visited the different exhibits, including The Lost Kingdom, African Plains, Asia, Children’s Zoo, Chimpanzee Connection, Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve, Helmerich Sea Lion Cove, and The Rainforest. The Zoo is home to a variety of animals, including a red panda, snow leopard, aldabra tortoises, African Painted dogs, giraffes, meerkats, lions, and primates.
Students learned about the Aldabra tortoises, the second-largest species of tortoise on the planet. These giants can dig large holes and stretch their necks over three feet to reach blowing branches. Tulsa Zoo is home to “Kadabra,” the number one reproducing female Aldabra tortoise of any zoo, anywhere!
After exploring the Zoo, students enjoyed lunch catered by the Tulsa Zoo. During lunch, students, teachers, and GEAR UP Education Coordinator Bethany Hicks shared their favorite experiences of the day as well as things they learned.
“A goal of EOSC GEAR UP is to provide students with opportunities to explore life beyond the classroom and to experience new pathways,” said Hicks. “Visiting the Zoo is a great way for students to observe animals from different regions of the world and learn about wildlife conservations.”
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.