The Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program

The Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program, also known as the “Zoo School,” was established in 1997 to give high school students the opportunity to pursue an alternative, self-directed education that blends both traditional and non-traditional styles of learning. The program has been operating in portable classroom buildings on the campus of the Lincoln Children’s Zoo for the past twenty years, utilizing an extended science laboratory experience for project-based education provided by the zoo. Construction is now underway on a permanent, 200-student Zoo School as part of the larger Lincoln Children’s Zoo expansion project.

The two-story facility is nested into the forested bank of the Rock Island Trail, one of Lincoln’s most popular pedestrian trails, giving students both secured external public access and internal Zoo access for project research.  Generous amounts of glazing provide natural daylighting and panoramic views. The Zoo School is set to be completed in late 2018.



Zoo schoolers get acquainted with new digs (and quieter neighbors) on first day of school


Lincoln, NE

Year Completed

In Progress


Lincoln Public Schools


15,000 sq. ft.

BVH Team