The Wildlife Center has a variety of online educational and distance-learning opportunities for participants of all ages. Our programs promote positive attitudes toward wildlife and emphasize how the personal choices we make affect the health of the environment.
Check the Wildlife Center’s event calendar and join us for a free “open to the public” program, including our monthly Hospital Cam or a special live-streaming event featuring special guests or our education animal ambassadors.
You may also schedule a private virtual program with one of our outreach staff or explore our additional online resources through virtual lesson plans and more.
Learn about the inner workings of a wildlife hospital, meet one of the Center's non-releasable education ambassadors up-close, or take a tour of our facilities. All programs include time for personalized discussion and question-and-answer sessions tailored toward your group. Choose one – or more! – of the following virtual programs for your group.
Meet A Wildlife Ambassador
The Center’s corps of non-releasable education ambassadors all have a story to share about wildlife and the environment. In this 30-minute program, meet one of the ambassadors, getting a much closer experience than you ever could in person. Highly customizable to your group's needs, the up-close ambassador program is a perfect chance to learn more about an individual education ambassador and species. Request a raptor, opossum, turtle, or snake, or let us choose for you!
Length: 30 minutes
Age: First grade through adult
Wildlife Hospital Tour
See the inner workings of a wildlife hospital in this very special behind-the-scenes tour. An outreach staff member will virtually walk you through the Center’s laboratory area, treatment room, surgery suite, and animal kitchen while discussing just what happens in a wildlife hospital – at work! Participants will likely see our veterinarians, technicians, rehabilitators, and students in action.
Length: 30 minutes
Age: 5th grade through adult
Education Ambassador Tour
Can’t choose just one education ambassador to meet? See the raptors and opossums in this behind-the-scenes outdoor tour. An outreach staff member will virtually guide you through the outdoor education ambassador areas, where you’ll meet opossums, owls, hawks, falcons, and an eagle in their custom-built enclosures. Highly customizable to your group's needs, the ambassador tour is a perfect chance to see and learn more about a variety of species.
Length: 45 minutes
Age: First grade through adult
Wildlife Center of Virginia Presentation
Learn more about the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s history, mission, and daily work as a teaching hospital in this interactive PowerPoint presentation and discussion. This presentation is ideal for adult groups and can highlight particular areas of the Center’s work, based on your group’s interest and background.
Length: 45-60 minutes
Groups are welcome to utilize their own virtual platform and share a speaker link with Wildlife Center staff upon booking. Outreach staff can also host any virtual program on the Center’s Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype accounts. Programs may be recorded for those in the group who are unable to attend the live session.
Cam in the Classroom
These interactive, text-based sessions take place on the Critter Cam’s moderated discussion. During a Cam in the Classroom session, the scheduled class is the only active participant for a question-and-answer session with a Wildlife Center staff member. Teachers may submit questions ahead of time or may ask the questions “live” during the session. Ask questions about what you see on Critter Cam, or about a particular biology or ecology topic the class is learning!
Length: Up to 30 minutes
Age: First-grade through adult
Additional Resources: Read our archived “Cam in the Classroom” sessions for examples of past discussions. This program pairs well with our “Caring for Critters” sponsorships [see below], but is not required.
Please note: Teachers and classes do not need to schedule a session to participate in the moderated discussion! Classrooms are always welcome to submit questions on the discussion when moderators are present – we suggest that you identify your class by the teacher’s or school’s name [E.g., “Mrs. Matheson’s 4th-grade class” or “6th Grade students at Copeland Middle School, NJ”].
On-Demand "All About Wildlife" Classes
These on-demand courses are designed for use in the classroom, specifically for grades 3-7. Each course has an in-depth focus on a particular group of wildlife native to Virginia and includes information on the physical and behavioral adaptations of those species, their habitat requirements, and ecological threats to wildlife. Each course has a variety of learning elements, including videos, PowerPoint lectures, printable worksheets, activities, and additional resources to give teachers and students a well-rounded educational experience. Course content is designed to complement and enhance the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Our programs promote positive attitudes toward wildlife and emphasize how the personal choices we make affect the health of the environment. Students learn and understand actions they can take to become better wildlife stewards.
Untamed: Life is Wild is a television series co-produced by the Wildlife Center of Virginia and VPM, Virginia's home for public media. The series focuses on a variety of wildlife issues drawn directly from the stories of the thousands of wild animals in need of care that arrive at the Wildlife Center’s doorstep every year. The stories of these animals illustrate the wider problems wildlife face — litter, pesticides, free-roaming domestic animals, habitat loss, and diseases – and challenge viewers to take action to protect wildlife. The Wildlife Center offers a library of materials that support each episode of Untamed, including patient stories and videos, additional learning resources, and worksheets and activities for students who are watching Untamed as a part of classroom learning on biology, natural history, and the environment. Watch episodes and explore the Untamed Compendium here!
Length: Episode run-time is approximately 25 minutes; classroom activity time varies
Age: Upper elementary and secondary students; adults
Caring for Critters
Adopt an education animal for your classroom and receive a sponsorship package as well as regular email updates on your animal throughout the school year. Academic-year sponsorships are available; these include additional updates on Critter Cam events, a lesson plan that corresponds to the selected animal species, and other animal-specific information upon request.
Some caring individuals underwrite the cost of an academic Caring for Critters sponsorship each year. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to see if we have any available for your class!
Length: Sponsorship is the length of the academic year
Age: Any primary or secondary class
Cost: $0 - $35
Additional Resources: See examples of how other teachers are using Caring for Critters in the classroom.
Additional Online Education Resources
The Wildlife Center Critter Cams and detailed patient case studies and stories on the website can be used to support a variety of lesson plans for teachers – many of which correlate to Standards of Learning in Science, Biology, and Life Sciences. We also have a library of educational videos and virtual tours.
Looking for ideas on how to incorporate virtual wildlife lessons in your classroom? The Wildlife Center’s website contains an ever-expanding and changing library of resources about wildlife and wildlife medicine. Explore more of these online resources here.