HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some lucky animals at the Honolulu Zoo got handcrafted surprises from local students.
The Honolulu Zoo announced that Waikīkī School partnered with the Honolulu Zoological Society. They collaborated on designing, developing and creating what they call ‘enrichment items’ for some of the animals housed in the zoo.
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The public was invited to see these enrichment items when they were introduced to the animals on Saturday, May 6.
Zoo-goers got to see primates, elephants, cows, a gold lion tamarin, meerkats and wild dogs react to and play with the enrichment items.
Officials from the Honolulu Zoo said that 5th grade students who attend Waikīkī School spent the year meeting and collaborating with Honolulu Zoo staff.
They learned how to care for the animals. The students also were able to conceptualize methods to help enrich the lives of the animals that in the care of the zoo.
The students built puzzle boxes for the primates. They also created a popcorn feeder for the elephants.
Cows received a backscratcher while nest boxes were created for the golden lion tamarin. The meerkats received an interactive termite mound while feeders were created for sloths and porcupines.
In the course of this learning adventure, students learned to draw up plans and how to experiment with materials as they made numerous revisions to their work in the process.
“In addition to working with their classroom teachers at Waikīkī School, the 5th graders were given the opportunity to work with seniors in Punahou School’s engineering department,” said Brandi Higa from the City and County of Honolulu.
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The Punahou students acted as mentors to the 5th graders and helped them revise plans and provided their expertise along with fabricating some of the materials used in the project.
Videos are courtesy of the Honolulu Zoo.