Learning Positions

Play Assistant

Application Status: CLOSED
Year-round Position
Time Commitment: Once per week for at least six months
Shifts: Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 

As a play assistant, you will help create a sensory-rich learning environment, greet guests, and gain hands-on experience with our youngest visitors at Farm-in-the-Zoo and Regenstein Center for African Apes. This position is ideal for applicants who have an early education background or interest, are hoping to gain experience guiding play, and enjoy facilitating activities for young children.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Encouraging creativity and promoting motor skills through music, art, and block building
  • Exploring different textures, sights, and sounds with sensory bins
  • Facilitating play and maintaining a safe space
  • Supporting children as they direct their own experience
  • Helping children and parents orientate to the site and experience

Volunteers Must:

  • Attend zoo orientation
  • Complete four hours of position-specific training
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be comfortable working at a child’s level, which may include standing and kneeling for long periods of time. Accommodations can be made.
  • Be energetic
  • Be able to lift up to 30 pounds
  • Have a positive attitude and adhere to zoo policies, procedures, and guest-service standards
  • Be comfortable standing and traversing zoo grounds in all weather conditions
  • Complete an online application
  • Complete an interview
  • Pass a standard criminal background check

Apply Now

Main Zoo Guest Engagement Volunteer

Application Status: CLOSED
Year-round Position
Time Commitment: Once per week for at least four months
Shifts: Daily from 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. or 1–4:30 p.m. (may vary seasonally) 

Guest engagement volunteers connect guests with zoo animals and conservation efforts by sharing the animals’ stories and involving guests in hands-on learning experiences. After learning an initial suite of programs, these volunteers are encouraged to supplement their knowledge by attending trainings on specific zones of the zoo.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Lead interpretive conversations about animals, animal care, conservation, and science to inspire people to take action to help wildlife
  • Assist Guest Engagement staff with animal encounters, including year-round programs, such as Feed the Cows, and seasonal programs, such as Malott Family Penguin Encounters
  • Facilitate educational activities through the use of specially designed mobile learning stations

Volunteers Must:

  • Attend zoo orientation
  • Complete 16 hours of position-specific training
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a positive attitude and adhere to zoo policies, procedures, and guest-service standards
  • Be comfortable standing and traversing zoo grounds in all weather conditions
  • Complete an online application
  • Complete an interview
  • Pass a standard criminal background check

Apply Now

Camp Teen Volunteer

Application Status: CLOSED 

Camp teen volunteers inspire children to study, love, and protect animals and the environment. This position is perfect for teens who are ready to undertake new and exciting challenges while gaining experience working with and educating children. Volunteers will spend five weeks assisting with the day-to-day running of Conservation Camp for grades preK–8.

Volunteers Must:

  • Complete half a day of training in the spring
  • Be entering grades 9–12 or their freshman year in college
  • Be 13–18 years old
  • Have a positive attitude and adhere to zoo policies, procedures, and guest-service standards
  • Be comfortable standing and traversing zoo grounds in all weather conditions
  • Complete an online application and submit one reference letter and a personal statement
  • Complete an interview

Learn More