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School Programs

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.

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.

Classroom Style

  • Cost :

    $75 per program.

  • Capacity :

    Up to 25 students and 2 adults.

  • Time :

    45 minutes.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    All cancellations must be submitted in writing no later than one week prior to the date of your program for a full refund. Rescheduling is subject to availability. No refunds will be given and invoices will be issued for any cancellations made within 1 week of the scheduled program date.

  • 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 Early Learning Standards: AL-5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4; ELA-1.2, 3.6; M-1.5; PD-1.1, 2.2

Counting Critters (Preschool)

1 critter… 2 critter… 3 critter… 4. Students will practice counting and number skills while learning about animals at the Zoo and in the wild!

SC Early Learning Standards: AL-5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4; ELA 1.2, 3.6, 6.1, 6.3; M 1.4, 1.5; PD 2.2

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 Early Learning Standards: AL-5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4; ELA 1.2, 3.6, 6.1, 6.3; M 1.4, 1.5, 3.4; PD 2.2

Bug Hunt (Kindergarten–Grade 1)

Bring your curiosity for six-legged creatures. Classes explore insect life cycles and search for superhero bugs in this interactive class.

SC Science Standards: K.L.2A.1, K.L.2A.3, 1.E.3A.1

Critter Café (Kindergarten–Grade 1)

Have a crazy day at the Critter Café as students learn about what animals eat.

SC Science Standards: K.L.2A.3, K.L.2A.6, 1.S.1A.1

Growing Wild (Grades 1–2)

From egg to bird, seed to flower and cub to bear, living things change as they grow. Experience the journey of life as students learn about the growth and development of plants and animals. **Plant or animal emphasis available.

SC Science Standards: 1.L.5A.2, 2.L.5A.1, 2.L.5A.3

Critter Classification (Grades 2–3)

Whether it has fins, fur or feathers, you can tell a lot about a critter by its appearance. Students will discover how animals are categorized by their characteristics in this fun class.

SC Science Standards: 2.L.5A.1, 2.L.5A.2, 2.L.5A.3, 3.L.5A.2

I Can Adapt to That (Grades 2–4)

Animals and plants depend on their adaptations to survive. Students will distinguish inherited from acquired adaptations as we learn how animals and plants survive in some of the world’s harshest places. **Plant or animal emphasis available.

SC Science Standards: 2.L.5A.2, 2.L.5B.2, 2.L.5B.3, 3.L.5A.1,3.L.5B.2, 4.L.5A.4, 4.L.5B.1, 4.L.5B.3

Home Sweet Biome (Grades 4–5)

From the ocean to mountains, wetlands to desert, Earth is covered in beautiful and unique places that living things call home. Students will see what makes each home unique and how plants and animals function within these intriguing places.

SC Science Standards: 4.L.5B.3, 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4A.2, 5.L.4B.1, 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3

Covering Carolina (Grades 3–5)

Travel from the Carolina mountains to the sea in this interactive class. Students will explore South Carolina’s five distinct regions, each with its own ecosystem and wildlife.

SC Science Standards: 3.L.5A.1, 3.L.5A.2, 3.L.5B.1, 3.E.4B.2, 4.L.5B.3, 5.L.4A.1, 5.E.3B.2, 5.E.3B.4

CSI: Coat & Skull Investigation (Grades 6–8)

Try your hand at forensic science to observe and categorize evidence about animals. Interactive scientific skill stations and animal encounters can help you provide wild justice.

SC Science Standards: 6.L.4B.1*, 6.L.4B.2, 6.L.4B.5, 7.L.3A.2* 7.EC.5A.3, 8.5.1A.1

(*) Denotes partial completion of standard.

Assembly Style

  • Cost :

    $145 per assembly.

  • Capacity :

    Up to 100 students and 10 adults.

  • Time :

    45 minutes.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    All cancellations must be submitted in writing no later than one week prior to the date of your program for a full refund. Rescheduling is subject to availability. No refunds will be given and invoices will be issued for any cancellations made within 1 week of the scheduled program date.

  • Available Programs:

Seed to Green (Kindergarten–Grade 5)

How do plants survive in the desert or tundra? How does a plant grow up? Students will find out all of this while learning how eating plants helps you stay healthy!

SC Science Standards: K.L.2A.1, K.L.2A.6, N-K.1.2, 1.L.5A.1, 1.L.5A.2*, 1.L.5B.1*, 1.l.5B.2*, N-1.1.2, N-2.5.1, 3.L.5.B.2, N-3.8.1*, 4.L.5A.1*, 4.L.5A.2, 4.L.5B.2., N-4.8.1*, 5.L.4B.1, N-5.4.1*

(*) Denotes partial completion of standard.

Feet, Feathers, Fins, and Fur (Kindergarten–Grade 5)

Riverbanks loves the uniqueness of each species we care for and their ability to survive and thrive in their natural environments. Students uncover what abilities are learned and inherited through this exploration of physical and behavioral adaptations.

SC Science Standards: K.L.2A.1, K.L.2A.3, 1.S.1A.1, 2.L.5A.2, 2.L.5B.2, 2.L.5B.3, 3.L.5A.1, 3.L.5B.2, 4.L.5A.4, 4.L.5B.1, 4.L.5B.3

Chain Reaction (Grades 3–5)

From the birds of the forest to the fish in the sea, living things need energy to live and grow. Students discover the importance of each and every animal to its ecosystem as we uncover the complexities of food webs in a variety of environments.

SC Science Standards: 3.L.5A.1, 3.L.5A.2, 4.L.5B.3, 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4B.1, 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3

The List: A Conservation Challenge (Grades 6–12)

Students will learn what species have made ‘the list’ and celebrate the species that have made it off. Find out what Riverbanks is doing to conserve habitats and species to prevent their status as endangered or extinct.

SC Science Standards: 6.L.4B.1*, 6.L.4B.2, 6.L.4B.3, 1.EC.5A.1, 7.EC.5A.3, 7.EC.5B.4, 8.E.6B.1, 8.E.6B.2, H.B.5.1, H.B.5.3, H.B.5.4, H.B.6A.2, H.B.6D.1*

(*) Denotes partial completion of standard.

Animals through the Sciences (Grades 8–12)

You normally learn about animals in biology or life science, but animals cross science disciplines! Discover animals through the lens of chemistry and physics in this interactive assembly.

SC Science Standards: 6.P.4B.1*, 6.P.3A.2, 6.L.4B.3, 1.EC.5A.1, 7.EC.5A.3, 7.EC.5B.4, 8.E.6B.1, 8.E.6B.2, H.B.5.1, H.B.5.3, H.B.5.4, H.B.6.A.2, H.B.6D.1*

(*) Denotes partial completion of standard.

Tour Style

  • Cost :

    $5/student standard tour. $15/person behind-the-scenes tour.

  • Capacity :

    Up to 25 students and 2 adults.

  • Time :

    45 minutes.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    All cancellations must be submitted in writing no later than one week prior to the date of your program for a full refund. Rescheduling is subject to availability. No refunds will be given and invoices will be issued for any cancellations made within 1 week of the scheduled program date.

  • Available Programs:

Plant Adaptations (Grades 3–6)

Plants are everywhere from the dry desert to the temperate forest. As you walk through the Garden, take a closer look at what adaptations help plants live in different environments.

SC Science Standards: 3.L.5B.2, 4.L.5B.2, 6.L.5b.1, 6.L.5B.2, 6.L.5B.3*, 6.L.5B.5*

(*) Denotes partial completion of standard.

Animals Around the World (Grades 6–12)

Travel to the grasslands of Africa, taiga of Russia and rainforests of Southeast Asia, but get back in time for lunch.

SC Science Standards: 6.L.4B.1, 6.L.4B.2, 6.L.4B.3, 6.L.4B.5, 7.EC.5A.1, 7.EC.5B.1, 8.E.6B.1, H.B.6.A.1

Zoo and Garden Careers (Grades 7–12)

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 Science 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

comPOOst Behind-the-Scenes Tour (Grades 6–12)

Get the scoop on our poop! Participants will travel to the “back side” of the elephant exhibit, explore the elephant barn, and get a glance at the compost production.

SC Science Standards: 6.L.4B.5, 7.L.3A.4, 7.EC.5A.1, H.B.3, H.B.6

Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tour (Grades 9–12)

Discover the fishy watery works of our aquarium when you find your way behind-the-scenes at Riverbanks. Students will discover how they can join Riverbanks in protecting Earth’s oceans!

SC Science Standards: H.B.2C.2*, H.B.6A.1*

(*) Denotes partial completion of standard.

Customized Teacher Workshops

Teacher workshops are a great way to enhance classroom lessons with Riverbanks resources. Each hands-on workshop will arm you with effective methods of active science instruction, both at the Zoo and in your home classroom. Experience using the Zoo as an educational resource through customized training designed to meet your specific needs.

Days, times and lengths of workshops are arranged to fit with your teaching schedule.

For more information, call 803.602.0803 or email.

  • Cost :

    Please call for pricing.

  • Capacity :

    Minimum 15 / Maximum 30.

Interested in having the Zoo to come to you? Check out Riverbanks on the Road!

Programs Information Inquiry Programs may be reserved in advance online or by calling the Education Department at 803.602.0803 Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 4:30pm. Once your information is received, we will check availability and reply to your request in a timely manner. This request does NOT guarantee availability!

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

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