Academics Outside The Classroom | Indraloka Animal Sanctuary

Academics Outside the Classroom

Indraloka’s Hopeful Heroes initiative includes STEAM learning in a fun and engaging setting. We have learned that children learn faster and perform better academically when given the opportunity to learn in a relaxed, natural setting in the company of rescued animals. Indraloka, therefore, offers school and club field trips as well as camps and Learn & Play Days that are open to the public. All of our academic opportunities are available on a sliding scale, making them accessible to every interested family, school, and organization.


  • Developing empathy through relationships with rescued farm animals.
  • Reading with and to the animals, reinforcing literacy.
  • Exploring creative writing, visual arts, singing, and musical instruments both alone and with peers while visiting with animals developing healthy forms of self-expression, creative outlets, and coping strategies.
  • Exploring STEAM-related subject matter developing better problem-solving skills, enhancing ingenuity and encouraging hands-on active learning.
  • Physical and social sciences are incorporated into every aspect of sanctuary activity, hands-on, from gardening and growth, to animal care, to exploration in nature, and beyond.
  • Technology is integrated through the use of digital cameras and laptop computers. Youth will be given the opportunity to explore photography on the sanctuary campus and create their own projects using software and laptops. We offer opportunities to include student-driven research, as well.
  • Engineering activities will be explored through hands-on activities using Legos, blocks, and other recycled/upcycled materials.
  • Art is integrated into the experiences constantly through visual arts, music, creative writing, and related areas.
  • Mathematics is integrated into animal care, cooking, and gardening portions of the camp. For example, youth learn to measure and weigh grain and feed for the animals, following recipes with homegrown produce, and arranging seedlings in a way that best encourages growth and longevity considering angles of sunlight, amounts of rainfall, depth of planting, spacing, etc. Youth will learn to measure accurately as well as approximate, both critical thinking skills within the PA State mathematics curriculum.

All of the lessons reinforce the foundations of education including math, logic, resourcefulness, timeliness, the ability to read and listen to instructions and apply to other tasks, science, nutrition, and household skills. This skillset makes students more independent and thus better prepared for success, whether their future includes a rigorous collegiate curriculum or a career.

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