If you are unable to attend one of our CPD sessions, you may prefer to bring your class here for a workshop led by ABC staff. These workshops are Curriculum linked, and use the outstanding resources we have available in the Biodiverity Centre, Zoology Museum and the Cruickshank Botanic Garden to really engage the pupils with science and environmental topics.

Workshops available include:

Suitable for Lower Primary Age Children:

Night and Day in Nature

My World of Nature

Marvellous Minibeasts (April to September only)

Suitable for Upper Primary Aged Children:

Fossils, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life

Amazing Animals (Vertebrate Classification)

Harsh Habitats (Animal adaptations)

Resourceful Rainforests

Investigating Invertebrates with Pond Dipping (May to October only)

What's the Point of Plants?

Workshops are available on Tuesdays, morning or afternoon. There is a charge associated with the workshops. For more information and to book a session, please contact us on biodiversity@abdn.ac.uk. Due to limited availability, we recommend you contact us as soon as you can before your intended visit to avoid disappointment.

More information about the sessions:

Night and Day in Nature (suitable for lower primary classes)

This workshop introduces pupils to the idea of nocturnal and diurnal animals, and discusses some of the reasons why animals are active at different times of day. Using the fantastic resources in the Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre, we will look at what senses animals use, and how different senses become more important at different times of day. The workshop also looks at different time zones around the world to introduce pupils to the idea that while it is lunchtime in Scotland, in other countries it will be bed time. Using the Zoology museum, we will look at animals from different areas around the world, learn about what senses they use, and look at what time of day it is where they live.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 0-06a, SCN 1-02a, SCN 1-12b

Session Length: 1 1/2 hours

My World of Nature (suitable for preschool and lower primary classes)

This workshop aims to increase the childrens awareness and experience of their surrounding environment. Through interactive and outdoor learning which engage the childs observation skills and senses, they will discover ways of communicating the interdependency of living things through sorting and grouping living things, and food chains. They will be using their senses to experience the world around them and develop the important scientific skill of observation. The first half of the session utilises the handling collection at the ABC and the second half takes place in the university’s botanic garden.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 1-01a, SCN 1-02a, SCN 1-12b

Session length 1 1/2 hours.

Marvellous Minibeasts (suitable for lower primary classes. Only available April to September)

Everyone loves looking for minibeasts! This workshop aims to use childrens fascination with creepy crawlies to develpo their appreciation of biodiversity, and the important role that invertebrates play in all ecosystems. Pupils will have a chance to examine some of our common minibeasts up close while learning some fascinitaing facts about them, before taking part in a minibeast hunt to find native invertebrates in their natural habitat.

Key Experiences and Outcomes:SCN 1-02a, SOC 1-13b

Session Length 1 1/2 hours.

Fossils, dinosaurs and prehistoric life (suitable for upper primary aged groups)

This workshop uses the ever popular topic of fossil and dinosaurs to engage children with science and the skill of observation. The session starts in the Aberdeen Biodiversity centre classroom where pupils will undertake different activities to understand how fossils are made, and what information they can tell us about prehistoric life. We will look at how we know what dinosaurs ate, when dinosaurs lived, why they became extinct, and what came after the dinosaurs. Afterwards, pupils will explore the Zoology museum to learn more about some of the specimens there, and decide if they are from an extinct prehistoric animal or a creature that is still living today.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 2-01a, SCN 2-20b

Session Length: 2 hours

Amazing animals (suitable for upper primary level classes)

This workshop introduces the idea of classifying animals based on similar characteristics. Pupils will be given different vertebrate specimens and will be asked to put them into the correct group; fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals. We will then use the Zoology Museum to learn some more about animals belonging to each of the groups. Finally we will use the microscopes to get a close look at some of the distinguishing features of some of the groups, and do some scientific drawings.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 2-01a

Session length: 2 hours

Harsh Habitats (suitable for upper primary level classes)

This workshop introduces classes to 5 different major habitat types and some of the animals and plants that live there. We look at the different ways animals and plants have adapted to meet the challenges of the different environments. Using the resources of the Aberdeen Biodiveristy Centre we will investigate the different conditions in different habitats, and why an animal or plant that is not adapted to that environment might find it difficult to survive. Finally we will move into the Zoology museum to look for some animals for different places of the world. After reading information about each of the animals, the pupils must decide which of the habitats we have studied today they are most adapted to.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 2-01a, SCN 2-12a, S0c 1-12b

Session length: 2 hours

Resourceful Rainforests (suitable for upper primary level classes)

The rainforests of the world are amazing places that provide so many resources that are useful to people. We will start by looking at different rainforests form around the world (both tropical and temperate) and thinking about the animals and plants that live there. We will also consider the process of pollination which is important in the production of many of the reources. 

Afterwards we will head out to the Cruickshank Botanic Gardens to look at species of trees which are native to Scottish Temperate Rainforests, and consider how seasonality affects which characteristics are visible in the trees.

Key Experinces and Outcomes: SOC 2-12a, SCN 2-01a

Session Length 2 hours.

Investigating Invertebrates with Pond Dipping (suitable for upper primary classes. Only available from May to October)

Invertebrates are one of the most abundant animal groups on earth, but are often overlooked due to their small size. This workshop begins in the Aberdeen Biodiversity Classroom and gives pupils the opportunity to get up close to some of our most common invertebrates to appreciate their unique features, different life stages and the importnant role they play in many of our ecosystems. We will then move out to the Cruickshank Botanic Garden to do some pond dipping to look for invertebrates in the pond. This will help to highlight the vast diveristy of invertebrates, and develop the pupils skills of observation as well as respect for living things.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 2-01a, SCN 2-02a, SCN2 -14a

Session length: 2 hours.

What's the point of plants?

Plants are often considered boring compared to animals. They don't move, they don't hunt, they don't do anything interesting. Or do they? This workshop looks at different plant groups, and what makes them so important to humans and to all life on earth. We will investigate when differnet plant groups evolved, and what their different features are. Groups will be asked to discuss different uses of plants, and decide in their groups what the most important role of plants has been in the past and in the present day.

Key Experiences and Outcomes: SCN 2-01a SCN 2-02b

Session lenth: 2 hours.