Philadelphia Zoo Announces Groundbreaking K-12 UNLESS Contest to Help Save Orangutans from Extinction

(September 19, 2011) - In a groundbreaking initiative, the Philadelphia Zoo has launched the UNLESS contest aimed at engaging K-12 classrooms throughout the Delaware Valley region in a unique way to help save orangutans from extinction. Classes who participate in the Zoo’s UNLESS contest will be eligible for a free orangutan-focused field trip to the Zoo and will also be able to compete for between $250 and $2,500 in prizes (Grades K-5) or for between $500 and $5,000 in prizes (Grades 6-12). 

“The Philadelphia Zoo believes that doing leads to caring,” said Kristen Lewis-Waldron, the Director of Education. “Through the UNLESS contest, we hope to connect with classrooms throughout our region in a new way and have a direct and positive effect on orangutan conservation efforts.”

Grades K-5 can compete in the UNLESS contest by creating compelling artwork that tells the conservation story of the endangered orangutan and by leading school-wide campaigns designed to raise awareness about the connection between orangutans and palm oil. Grades 6-12 can compete in the UNLESS contest by developing either a palm-oil focused multi-media project or an “action station display” that shows the connection between palm oil and orangutans. Grades 6-12 must also incorporate their projects into school-wide awareness raising campaigns.

The UNLESS contest application deadline is October 28, 2011. Final award results will be announced in March 2012.  Additional contest information and contest application can be found here. Interested teachers can also contact education@phillyzoo.org for more information.