kidZone Post Occupancy Evaluation

The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) conducted a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) in collaboration with NC Zoo staff of kidZone. KidZone is a prototyping area for children and families. (CNDC). The kidZone mission is: Fostering a love of nature through play.

NC Zoo Team:
Randy Fulk, PhD, Curator of Education
Linda Kinney, Public Programs Coordinator
Jessica Hoffmire, Visitor Educator

Natural Learning Initiative Team:
Robin Moore, MCP, Director
Nilda Cosco, PhD, Education Specialist
Brad Bieber, MLA, Design Associate

Research Assistants:
Eric Filo
Nataliya Gurina
Shirley Varela
Heather Vickery

GIS Specialists:
Tom Danninger
Adina Goodwin


  • Evaluate how kidZone environmental characteristics (setting type, size, and location) influence children’s play, early science learning, physical activity, and social interactions.
  • Investigate the pattern of use of kidZone by young children (0-5), elementary school age (6-12), and visitors older than 13 years of age including adults.
  • Provide design recommendations to improve kidZone and, potentially, feed new information into the design of the future Children’s Nature Discovery Center outdoor areas.