Win a free class trip to the Toronto Zoo!

Saving Polar Species Contest

Would you like to do some good for conservation while having the chance to win a free class trip to the Toronto Zoo? If so, we invite you to take part in our Saving Polar Species Contest.

The Saving Polar Species Contest should be student-led and the best projects will aim to engage their school, families and community. The project should inspire others to become change agents in the community.

Competition information:

  • The contest is open to all public and private schools.
  • Up to 40 students may submit one representative entry.
  • The contest is judged in three grade levels (K-3, 4-8, and 9-12).
  • Each grade level group will have one prize of a free class trip to the Zoo, for up to 40 students. (If the winning school is unable to visit the Zoo, we will send a member of our Polar Bear Team to you, maximum 250 km distance from the Toronto Zoo)
  • Bussing is included in the prize (restrictions apply).
  • You must complete a challenge submission form by May 8th 2020 for your chance to win!

Submissions will be judged based on three criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Environmental Impact (measurable results)


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4


Minimal creativity apparent

Creativity apparent in project design or implementation

Creativity was apparent in multiple components of the project

High levels of creativity throughout the project


Collaboration is limited to the classroom only

Collaboration is limited to the school

Community collaboration is apparent 

Several community collaborations occurred


Environmental Impact

The project has had minimal environmental impact

The project has had some environmental impact

The project has had a large amount of environmental impact

The project has had significant environmental impact

Pick one of the challenges below and then get creative! Remember the ideas listed under each project are just ideas – your students can be as creative as they wish!

Energy Savings

We all know that reducing our energy consumption can help save the ice!

  • Can you reduce energy in your classroom, whole school, and at home?
    Ideas could include making sure everything is turned off and unplugged overnight, replacing fittings with more energy friendly versions, changing people’s behaviour, maybe turning down your thermostat and wearing an extra layer of clothing! Remember, reducing water use also saves energy.

Sustainable Food Systems

The production and transportation of food is a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Can you reduce your school’s food footprint? Ideas include completing an audit on where the food at your school comes from and how much water/energy it took to produce it.
  • Could you eat less meat? Source food more locally and in-season food? Grow food at school?

Reducing Waste

Did you know that most of the waste we produce still ends up in landfill? People are contaminating blue boxes with items that cannot be recycled. Litter from our streets ends up in waterways and ends up in the oceans, causing great harm to marine life. Single use plastics are used for a moment and then last forever.

  • Can you reduce waste at your school or home? Ideas could include carrying out a waste audit at school or home and see if you are recycling correctly.
  • Could you reduce the amount of items you are recycling? Reduction is best!
  • Can you reduce single-use plastic in your classroom, whole school, and at home?


Transportation is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases. By choosing more environmentally friendly transportation options you can help to save polar species.

  • Can you make your commute to school more environmentally friendly? Can you influence local businesses to do the same?

Ideas include encouraging cycling or walking to school, encouraging family, friends and local businesses to start carpooling clubs. Starting a no idling campaign.

Download Your Contest Submission Form HERE

Want to book a school trip to the Zoo?

A variety of programs are available for both elementary and secondary level students and range from 45-minute programs and presentations to full-day workshops. Additional program fees apply. School programs are delivered by Toronto Zoo educators and are a unique and exciting way to bring the curriculum to life.

For more information about each of the school programs offered, please click here (elementary) or click here (secondary).