Hurvis Center Key Focuses

Hurvis Center Key Focuses

Expanding Education Across Communities

The Hurvis Center is currently focusing efforts in four key areas summarized below. Also included are links to initiatives aligned with these focus areas. These programs, currently being piloted, will likely be expanded in the year ahead.

1. Increase Youth Awareness of Science Careers

Career choice begins early in the lives of youth and is often based in their direct experiences with the world around them. The center will provide youth, especially those from underserved communities, with early learning experiences about careers in science—including working in zoos and aquariums. This will provide background that can be helpful in determining their academic paths and career goals.

Related Initiatives


Career Explorers
Chicago students will join a two-week career immersion opportunity at Lincoln Park Zoo, with special activities afterward maintaining a connection with the youth and their parents.


Research Apprenticeship Program
Chicago-area high school students can spend four weeks working alongside a Lincoln Park Zoo researcher and engaging in authentic research experiences.

2. Engage Community Members in the Work of Zoo Researchers

The center is exploring new ways to engage the community in the zoo’s work to champion wildlife conservation. This ranges from supporting data collection on local backyard wildlife to soliciting suggestions and feedback on new initiatives. The focus is to bring the public closer to the work of Lincoln Park Zoo.

Related Initiatives


Partners in Fieldwork
The zoo is working with Chicago-area high schools to collect wildlife monitoring data from urban school sites while partnering with the Urban Wildlife Institute to contribute to ongoing biodiversity studies.

3. Develop Globally Relevant Models of Learning

The zoo is dedicated to engaging people of all backgrounds in learning opportunities related to wildlife care, conservation and science. The center is focused on exploring models of learning that are relevant and accessible to a diverse audience—from young children to adult hobbyists—here in Chicago, nationally and globally.

Related Initiatives


Observe to Learn
Informal-learning institutions around the world can share a curriculum providing youth the opportunity to learn about the natural world through animal behavior studies.

4. Exploring New Ways to Conduct Evaluation and Research

In addition to relying on established methods of evaluation and research to measure the impact and effectiveness of new educational models, the center will also focus on exploring unique research techniques, tools and methodologies to continue advancing the field of informal learning.