Brooklyn, NY – The Prospect Park Zoo's SPARKS (Supporting Parents in Advocacy, Reform, and Knowledge in Science) workshop offers a unique opportunity for parents to help make science accessible for kids through hands-on activities, animal encounters, and other interactive teaching methods.

Somewhere between TV time, story time, and bedtime, the Prospect Park Zoo Education Department is offering a very unique parent-child ritual: science-time. With science test scores of U.S. students—particularly those in urban public schools—failing to meet national standards, cultural institutions like the Prospect Park Zoo are seeking innovative ways to supplement classroom learning.  SPARKS parents learn about the scientific method, multiple intelligences theory, and how standards are used in schools, all while doing hands-on activities that they can take home to do with their kids.  SPARKS parents will also go behind the scenes at the zoo, meet some zoo animals, study animal behavior and learn about doing worm-composting with children.

The two-day SPARKS workshop will take place on: Sundays, January 24 and 31, 2010, Saturdays, March 6 and 13, 2010.  The workshop runs from 9 - 4:30 each day.  This workshop is for parents of pre-schoolers and elementary schoolers and for adults only. SPARKS has a $50 administrative fee, which covers both days. To make a reservation and for more information, please call 718-399-7322.

In 1929, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo established the first and longest operating Education Department of any zoo in the country. Today, WCS provides educational services to more than two million people in the New York metro area, trains 13,500 New York City teachers, and educates hundreds of thousands of students in 50 states and 14 countries. WCS has won more Education Awards from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) than any other zoological institution and is the only informal science institution with comprehensive curricular programs that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for their outstanding educational merit.

Fran Hackett - 718-265-3428

Prospect Park Zoo – Open every day of the year. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors 65 and older, $3 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays, and 10am – 5:30pm weekends, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April.  The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For further information, call 718-399-7339 or visit

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.