Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Zoo docents

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A visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium comes with lots of fun and animals and a lot of opportunities to learn. And many of those opportunities are thanks to the volunteers there known as docents, who dedicate their time to teaching children at the zoo.

Mary Eyman and the other docents work to teach visitors of all ages in a hands-on way, using things like "touch tables."

"Touch table is a show-and-tell thing we set up in a different place every week. And we have things that kids can touch: skulls, pelts, we have things the keepers give us for show and tell," said Eyman.

Items like feathers, broken claws and food are shared with the docents to put on display, alongside models of animal skulls that give visitors a chance to learn more about the animals they are seeing nearby.

"Kids are always enthused, especially at the touch table. They 'ooh!' You know, it really inspires them. And we try to teach conservation. We try to enforce what it is to have animals on our planet," said Eyman.

Eyman has volunteered as a zoo docent since 2004, working to teach children about the animals she loves.

"Kids love (these skull models). They love touching these skulls. Some of them are actually intimidated by them, but they're not real," said Eyman.

While Eyman first signed up to volunteer her time at the zoo because she loves animals, her favorite part of the work is being with the children.

"I think that my favorite is interacting with the public. The zoo is a happy place and if we can do something to augment our visitors' experience, then that makes me happy," said Eyman.

The zoo touch tables are in place at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday during the summer.

The docent program has been in place for 47 years. For more information on how to get involved, visit



<a data-cke-saved-href="http://A visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium comes with lots of fun and animals, and a lot of opportunities to learn. And many of those opportunities are thanks to the volunteers there known as docents, who dedicate their time to teaching children at the zoo. Mary Eyman and the other docents work to teach visitors of all ages in a hands on way, using things like " href="http://A visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium comes with lots of fun and animals, and a lot of opportunities to learn. And many of those opportunities are thanks to the volunteers there known as docents, who dedicate their time to teaching children at the zoo. Mary Eyman and the other docents work to teach visitors of all ages in a hands on way, using things like " touch="" tables".="" "touch="" table="" is="" a="" show="" and="" tell="" thing="" we="" set="" up="" different="" place="" every="" week.="" have="" things="" that="" kids="" can="" touch:="" skulls,="" pelts,="" the="" keepers="" give="" us="" for="" tell,"="" said="" eyman.="" items="" like="" feathers,="" broken="" claws,="" food="" are="" shared="" with="" docents="" to="" put="" on="" display,="" alongside="" models="" of="" animal="" skulls="" visitors="" chance="" learn="" more="" about="" animals="" they="" seeing="" nearby.="" "kids="" always="" enthused,="" especially="" at="" table.="" 'ooh!'="" you="" know,="" it="" really="" inspires="" them.="" try="" teach="" conservation.="" enforce="" what="" our="" planet,"="" eyman="" has="" volunteered="" as="" zoo="" docent="" since="" 2004,="" working="" children="" she="" loves.="" love="" (these="" skull="" models).="" touching="" these="" skulls.="" some="" them="" actually="" intimidated="" by="" them,="" but="" they're="" not="" real,"="" while="" first="" signed="" volunteer="" her="" time="" because="" loves="" animals,="" favorite="" part="" work="" being="" children.="" "i="" think="" my="" interacting="" public.="" happy="" if="" do="" something="" augment="" visitors'="" experience,="" then="" makes="" me="" happy,"="" tables="" in="" pittsburgh="" ppg="" aquarium="" monday,="" wednesday,="" saturday="" during="" summer.="" program="" been="" 47="" years.="" information="" how="" get="" involved,="" visit="" http:="" www.pittsburghzoo.org="" volunteer"="">

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