High School Student Research Projects
Are you a high school student interested in science and animals? Would
you like to experience how scientific research is done with animals? If
so, Knoxville Zoo has an exciting opportunity where you can help
participate in an animal research study!
Knoxville Zoo student research projects are very intense. These
hands-on projects require a minimum of 36 research hours, where students
will observe and record data on one of the zoo's animals using a chart
called an ethogram. This research s usually done over the course of
three or four months, and is done on zoo grounds in all kinds of
weather. Zoo staff will help guide the students through the project, but
they will mostly work independently. The project culminates with the
writing of a scientific research paper and a lunch presentation to zoo
staff, both of which are required for successful completion of the
All potential student researchers must apply to be a part of the student
research program. A completed application will have the following
- The Research Application Form Student Research Application.pdf must be completely filled out in the student's own handwriting.
- The Student Research Waiver Form Student Research Waiver.pdf must also be completely filled out.
- Two letters of recommendation. These letters must be written by an adult, and may not be written by a relative.
- A 250 to 500 word essay on why the student researcher wishes to become a part of the program.
Completed applications may either be scanned or emailed to Jason Moeller at email@example.com
or turned into the Ranger Station located at the front entrance to the
zoo. The completed application is due by May 1, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. No late applications will be accepted.
The On-Site Coordinator of Education, Jason Moeller, will use the
completed applications to determine which prospective researchers will
be interviewed for the program. Jason will contact applicants to set up
a time and date for the interview using the contact information
provided in the completed application.
What happens once I am accepted?
Once accepted, the applicant is ready to begin the research. Please
read the attached document as it details the next steps in the student
research process. Student Researcher After Training.pdf
Projects and Questions?
The projects to be completed by student researchers vary depending on
what data is needed by our keepers. Past projects have studied the
behaviors of our bears, lions, tigers, otters, elephants, and other
If you are interested in learning about our current projects or have any questions, please contact Jason Moeller at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (865) 637-5331 x331.