“It can make the science real:” Major upgrades at Milwaukee Co. Zoo means new technology for students

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MILWAUKEE -- Officials at the Milwaukee County Zoo have some new tools that are helping to bring science to life! Major upgrades to the zoo's Education Department means new technology.

Penguins at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Penguins at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Milwaukee County Zoo

The first stop for a group of students Thursday, October 6th at the Milwaukee County Zoo was the penguin exhibit. It wasn't a casual visit. They were busy taking notes -- making observations on the Humboldt penguins' behavior, in an effort to investigate how a disease from the local environment could enter the population.

Milwaukee County Zoo

Milwaukee County Zoo

It was an exercise in the application of veterinary science. Just like the real Milwaukee County Zoo veterinarians who may have to deal with diseases like avian malaria or West Nile Virus, the students will be able to utilize some brand new equipment.

"That is going to allow them to look at evidence having to do with the investigation they are needing to solve," James Mills, director of conservation education for the Zoological Society of Milwaukee said.

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Inside the Zoo's Education Center is a new smartboard, new tablets and digital microscopes.

"It helps you get a better look at it," Jonathan Storms said.

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

The upgrades were made possible thanks to a $100,000 donation from Thrivent Financial.

"It can make the science real, and it can make them practice science in real ways," Mills said.

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

Milwaukee County Zoo Education Center

These students were part of"Zoo Classes" offered throughout the year at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Fall Zoo Classes are offered September - December. CLICK HERE to learn more or to register for a fall Zoo Class.

Spring Zoo Classes are offered February - May. CLICK HERE to learn more or to register for a spring Zoo Class.