Taronga Institute of Science & Learning

Taronga Institute of Science & Learning

A living laboratory for conservation education and scientific investigation, built to empower the scientists of tomorrow.

We believe in a shared future, where wildlife and people don’t just live together, they thrive together. Which is why we’re committed to creating new ways of using science and education to shape this future through research, collaboration and immersive learning.

To help us shape a future for wildlife and people, we’ve created the Taronga Institute of Science & Learning, a world-class facility built right here in Taronga Zoo Sydney.

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex opening the Taronga Institute

Official opening

Students sitting in the main atrium of the Taronga Institute
Students sitting in the main atrium of the Taronga Institute

Commitment to education

The Taronga Institute, together with the Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo sites, 'brings science to life' and demonstrates stronger alignment between school education programs offered and the Australian and NSW curriculums.

Educating our future

Education programs must inspire students and demonstrate clear links between classroom learning and outcomes to provide students with the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to contribute to conservation.

Students sitting in the main atrium of the Taronga Institute
Students experience the Woodlands immersive habitat classroom
Students experience the Woodlands immersive habitat classroom

Immersive habitat classrooms

These multisensory spaces are the first of their kind in the world, themed around rainforest, desert and woodland habitats.

A blend of living animal habitat and classroom, these spaces provide authentic learning experiences that align with curriculum priority areas.

There are three immersive habitat classrooms within the Taronga Institute replicating three differing habitats: Rainforest, Desert and Woodlands.

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Students experience the Woodlands immersive habitat classroom
Students being led by a Taronga Educator in a Seminar Room
Students being led by a Taronga Educator in a Seminar Room

Inspiring uptake of STEM subjects

Taronga’s aim is to inspire and educate the next generation of conservation scientists. The Taronga Institute supports the essential need for contextual authentic STEM learning and, together with the wider Zoo sites, provides authentic, interactive learning opportunities in an environment of working science. The co-location of teaching facilities and research labs creates tangible links between theory and practice.

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Students being led by a Taronga Educator in a Seminar Room
Book your excursion

The Taronga Institute has a range of learning spaces including our immersive habitat classrooms. 

Get involved

Find out more about how you can support the Taronga Institute and be a champion for change.

Galapagos tortoise hatchling
Galapagos tortoise hatchling

Higher education

The Taronga Institute also caters to students' higher education course needs by offering various programs aimed to achieve positive outcomes for wildlife. 

Enrol into a Certificate course delivered by the Taronga Training Institute and take inspiring classes at Taronga Zoo Sydney, Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Perth Zoo or Melbourne Zoo.

Experience our innovative alliance with the University of Sydney and undertake a University of Sydney degree programs to develop skills and expertise in conservation. 

Learn about the core issues at the heart of Taronga's mission and see the Zoo from a new perspective in a tertiary workshop, tour or lecture tailored to compliment your tertiary study. 

Galapagos tortoise hatchling
Veterinary Pathologist Registrar, Dr Karrie Rose, working in the Conservation Science Lab
Veterinary Pathologist Registrar, Dr Karrie Rose, working in the Conservation Science Lab

Centre for scientific excellence

Within the Taronga Institute there are a range of purpose built laboratories, including a multi-disciplinary research laboratory, teaching laboratory and cryoreserve.

These facilities have increased Taronga’s research capabilities and enabled further engagement and collaboration with universities globally to address key conservation issues.

Veterinary Pathologist Registrar, Dr Karrie Rose, working in the Conservation Science Lab
The view of the science labs from the main entrance
The view of the science labs from the main entrance

Laboratories

The Taronga Institute houses dedicated science labs to support Taronga’s science team, including two multi-disciplinary labs, a behavioural ecology lab, wildlife health lab, CryoDiversity lab and enrichment development centre.

CryoDiversity lab

The CryoDiversity lab, or ‘frozen zoo’, is preserving the largest collection of frozen coral cells from the Great Barrier Reef until they are needed to re-seed the reef. Taronga is collaborating with partner organisations to establish Great Barrier Reef coral ‘cryopreservation’.

In November 2017, biologists collected and banked sperm and other cell types from eight species of hard corals on Heron Island, bringing new genetic diversity to Taronga’s Cryodiversity Bank – which now houses 16 coral species and represents the largest coral bank in the world.

The view of the science labs from the main entrance