Zoo & Butterfly House Partner with Seeds of Change

The Butterfly House & Aquarium (BHA) and Great Plains Zoo (GPZ) are excited to embark on a new conservation partnership with Minnesota-based Seeds of Change Research (SOC).

SOC is a nonprofit providing immersive, original research experiences in Costa Rica for high school students in grades 9-12. We invite the public to learn more at an upcoming informational session:

  • Wednesday, November 15 
  • 6-7 pm 
  • Great Plains Zoo Education Center – 805 S. Kiwanis Ave.

During an SOC trip, students are prepared for university-level science by engaging in hands-on programs, including tropical field research and bioinformatics research. Students learn how to apply the scientific method while collaborating with team members to establish an original research question, design experiments for their project, and problem-solve as a group. They use statistics to validate their findings, and then present their work, like any research scientist would. 

Students that complete an SOC research program can earn three college credits through SOC’s partnership with Augustana University.

Earlier this year, Aquarium Director Michelle Coley visited SOC’s research facility in Costa Rica, participating in the program alongside a group of Harrisburg High School students.

“If you have a student who’s serious about science, who aspires to make the next medical breakthrough, or is just fascinated by the natural world and wants to experience it firsthand before college, Seeds of Change provides that and more,” said Coley.

SOC also has a program for teachers interested in leading work in bioprospecting labs at their own high schools.

Learn more about research opportunities during summer 2024 at the zoo informational session, and about Seeds of Change at SOCResearch.org.