Teen Experiences and Job Shadowing

Teen program participants at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo offers a variety of summer programs geared specifically to teens! Interested in conducting research? Ever wondered what it’s like to work at a zoo? Enjoy teaching others? The following programs cover all these interests. Compensation and time commitment vary by program.

ZIP teen interns at Lincoln Park Zoo

Malott Family Zoo Intern Program
Chicago high school students ages 15–18 work as interpreters on zoo grounds, informing guests about animal science and conservation during an educational eight-week paid internship. Applicants must be entering grades 10, 11 or 12 or freshman year in college.

Research Apprenticeship Program teen interns at Lincoln Park Zoo

Research Apprenticeship Program
Chicago high school students ages 16–18 have the opportunity to spend eight weeks working alongside zoo scientists during this educational paid apprenticeship. Applicants must be entering grades 11 or 12.

Teen volunteer working with kids at Lincoln Park Zoo's summer Conservation Camp

Camp Teen Volunteer
Chicago area high school students ages 13–18 spend three weeks educating children while being mentored by instructors during the zoo’s Conservation Camp for preK–fourth graders. This is an unpaid educational service-learning opportunity. For students entering grades 9–12.

How to Apply

Applications and supplemental materials are due by April 17, 2015, for the summer 2015 season. Please note that you will not be able to save your application and return to edit it on the system. Because of this, prepare your three essays before beginning the application.

Apply Now!

Teen Programs Essay Questions

Please prepare these essays before beginning each application. Each response must be at least 200 words.

  1. Why are you a good candidate for the program(s) you are applying for? (If you are interested in multiple programs, please mention each of them in your essay.)
  2. How will this experience at Lincoln Park Zoo help you further your academic or career goals?
  3. If you could invent something to help the planet, what would it be and why?

Two letters of recommendation are required and should be submitted separately from the online application form. A letter of recommendation cover sheet will need to be completed for both letters. The cover sheet can be found here.

If you have previously applied and need further assistance, please contact the education programs assistant at 312-742-2056 or educationprograms@lpzoo.org.

Want to learn more before you apply? Attend one of the free, upcoming info sessions listed below! Former participants and program facilitators will be present to answer your questions.

Saturday, March 14, 1–3 p.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo, Judy Keller Education Center
Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton Parkway

Wednesday, March 18, 4–5:30 p.m.
Richard M. Daley Library Branch
733 N. Kedzie Avenue

Saturday, March 21, 1–2:30 p.m.
Bessie Coleman Library Branch
731 E. 63rd Street

Questions? Learn more at www.lpzoo.org/teens. Contact us at 312-742-2056 or educationprograms@lpzoo.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

  Download the Teen Programs FAQs

Learn More

Career Explorers teens at Lincoln Park Zoo

Not Just a Summer Job
High school students from throughout the city immerse themselves in summer internships that connect them to zoo experts and various aspects of the zoo’s operations.

Malott Family Zoo Intern Program participant

Summer Jobs 2013
The zoo offers students the opportunity to try their hands at careers in conservation, education and care. From trapping turtles to planning the perfect wedding, our interns share their summer experiences.