LA students study live animals at ‘zoo magnet school’ – NBC Los Angeles

North Hollywood High School is providing a unique opportunity to study pink flamingos, head-butting goats and fuzzy koalas.

In collaboration with the Los Angeles Zoo, magnet students at NHHS can study zoology and animal science with actual animals, making this program unlike any other nearby.

“If I told little me that I would be feeding flamingos, I would be flipping out right now,” said Mirandha Ramirez, a lifelong animal lover and student at NHHS.

Ramirez is one of the select few under the zoo magnet program. Former student and current Magnet Coordinator Brie-Anna Molina believes these opportunities need to exist outside of a book.

“The program was really founded on the idea that our students learn best in the world. You can’t learn some of this stuff from a book. You’ve got to get out there and see what it’s really about and get your hands dirty,” Molina said.

Getting his hands dirty is no problem for Nathaniel Araiza. Araiza is another participating student who’s particularly fond of goats. “They can be messy and smelly, but that’s an animal,” he said.

Although most students might not pursue this line of study, Ixchel Flores will. Flores wants to study animal behavior and conservation in college.

Taking care of a koala and its baby has been, as she describes it, a dream come true.

“You might be an engineer or an electrician, but you’ll never forget the lessons you learned at the LA Zoo,” said Coral Barreiro, community program manager at the LA Zoo.

Since its implementation, NHHS has seen an increasing graduation rate of 100%. Moreover, the school was recently named the No. 1 magnet school in the nation. About 60% of its students go on to pursue a career in science.

Applications for the fall 2024 admission will be accepted now through Nov. 17.

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