School Programs at Riverbanks

Whether you teach preschool or high school, we have a school program to fit your needs. All programs are carefully crafted around South Carolina Science Academic Standards and are developed to involve your students in active, student centered learning.

Classroom Programs

Your group can join us in one of our four on-site classrooms to go deeper into standards-aligned hands-on activities with one of our trained educators and an animal ambassador.

Available Programs

On the Move (Preschool)

Can you swim like a fish? Slither like a snake? Swing like a siamang? Students will explore animal movement as they hop, crawl and wiggle their way through story, song and activities.

SC State Standards: APL-1, APL-5, APL-8, HPD-4, LDC-1, LDC-2, LDC-3, LDC-7, LDC-8, CD-10

Red, Blue, Who’s at the Zoo? (Preschool)

Young learners will identify colors and explore the many shades found at the Zoo through songs and activities.

SC State Standards: APL-1, APL-8, ESD-5, LDC-1, LDC-2, LDC-3, LDC-7, LDC-8, CD-10

Kindergarten Keepers (Kindergarten)

Kindergarteners will count, play and pretend their way through this fun class exploring what it takes to care for an animal’s needs.

SC State Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS3-1

Investigating Adaptations (1st Grade)

Students will put their observation skills to the test as they investigate how Riverbanks’ species are adapted for survival.

SC State Standards: 1-LS1-1

Seeds on the Move (2nd Grade)

Students will explore and experiment through this windy, wet, sticky and sometimes yucky investigation of seed dispersal.

SC State Standards: 2-LS2-2

Escaping Extinction (3rd Grade)

In this mystery inspired class, students will have to put their geography skills and knowledge to the test to save a Riverbanks species from extinction.

SC State Standards: 3.1.1.AG, 3.1.2.AG, 3-LS4-3

Adaptation Engineers (4th Grade)

Work as a team to overcome a challenge in this adaptation themed class. Students will observe living plants and animals as well as design their own model plant.

SC State Standards: 4-LS1-1

Mighty Plankton (5th Grade)

Students will get an introduction to the base of the ocean’s food web while using engineering design skills to create models of plankton to compete in the Great Plankton Race.

SC State Standards: 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1

Pollination Investigation (6th–8th Grade)

South Carolina’s most popular foods like strawberries, peaches, and squash are impossible to find at the local farmers market or grocery stores. Students will get hands-on in this project-based class as they work to find a solution BEEfore all their favorite foods disappear for good.

SC State Standards: 7-LS2-1, 7-LS2-4, 7-LS2-5

Operant Conditioning (9th–12th Grade)

Explore the purpose and theory behind animal training. Learn the role of training at Riverbanks and understand how it works by being “trained” yourself!

Program Details

Cost :
$90 per program.
Capacity :
Up to 25 students and 2 adults.
Program Length :
45 minutes.


One of our educators will tour your group through the park to learn about the species represented around Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

Available Programs

Conservation Around the World Tour (6th–12th Grade)

Travel around the world to explore various wildlife and how humans impact their survival. Don’t miss out on the chance to find out how you can use technology daily to conserve these amazing animals.

SC State Standards: 6.L4B, 7.EC.5A.,7.EC.5B, 8.E.6B, H.B.6D, H.E.3B, H.E.3D, H.B.6D

Riverbanks Careers Tour (7th–12th Grade)

Are you interested in photography, art, retail, horticulture or guest services? The Zoo might be the place for you! Take a tour with us to discover the teamwork and talented people that run the Zoo.

SC State Standards: 7.EC.5A.1, 7.EC.5B.1, 8.P.3A.6, 8.E.6B.1, 8.E.6B.2, H.B.6A.1

Program Details

Cost :
$75 per tour.
Capacity :
Up to 16 students and 2 adults.
Program Length :
45 minutes.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation or date change requests must be received three weeks in advance of the event to receive a refund of your registration. Requests must be submitted in writing at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will retain a 10% processing fee for cancellations.

In the rare event that Riverbanks Zoo and Garden must cancel the scheduled event, all deposits or money received will be reimbursed or an option to reschedule will be provided. Notifications of cancellation will be provided at least ten days prior to the scheduled event (unless weather-related). Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is not liable for any other expenses that the guest may have incurred in the preparation and execution of the event.

Refunds will not be provided for individuals who do not show up for the event.

Programs Information Inquiry Programs may be requested in advance online or by calling the Education Department at 803.602.0803 Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 1:00pm. Once your information is received, we will check availability and reply to your request in a timely manner. This request does NOT guarantee availability! Groups will receive an emailed “Field Trip Confirmation Letter” with reserved date and program details.

Group Information


Program Request Information Classes and tours are only offered Tuesdays–Fridays, August–May.

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Contact Information


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Don’t see something that meets your needs? We will create custom programs for your group. Requests must be made at least 30 days in advance. A nominal development fee will be charged.

Interested in college level programs? Please contact the Education Department at 803.602.0803.

Questions about School Programs at Riverbanks?

Please call 803.602.0803 or email us.