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Youth & Teen Programs

Opportunities to Grow

Every year, Zoo New England becomes a living classroom, offering formal and informal youth development programming. Education is an integral part of our mission and our commitment to serving as a community resource to our surrounding neighborhoods.

Through our youth programming, you’ll learn by doing. Find out what it takes to work at a Zoo while gaining valuable skills! Check out our programs to find the one that’s right for you.

For more information about these programs, contact the Youth Programs Office at 617-989-3746 or email.

5th Quarter of Learning Program

Zoo New England is an ongoing partner in the 5th Quarter of Learning program, co-managed by Boston Public Schools and Boston After School & Beyond. ZNE’s expertise in science education is used to enrich rising fourth and fifth grade students’ academic learning, integrating the Zoo environment into Math and English Language Arts lessons. Through full-day learning experiences at Franklin Park Zoo, students have the opportunity to improve and practice valuable social-emotional learning skills such as teamwork, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.

Research has found that about two thirds of the achievement gap between low income students and high income students is due to their access, or lack thereof, to summer opportunities. The 5th Quarter is the city of Boston's way to mitigate this and try to make sure that every child in the city has access to the opportunities that they need to succeed and flourish.

The Zoo provides a unique setting for STEM-focused learning in a fun environment, and we’re committed to ensuring that children of all backgrounds have the opportunity to experience and learn about the wonders of the natural world through active exploration, inquiry, and hands-on discovery. 

Junior Zookeeper Club at Stone Zoo

Join us this fall for our Jr. Zookeeper club, offered in October, November and December. Each standalone session will focus on a different theme, and participants will get the opportunity to learn about the animals in our Zoo and what it takes to work with them!

Details & Registration

Junior ZooTeen Program

Franklin Park Zoo's Jr. ZooTeen program is a creative and meaningful educational opportunity for highly-motivated youth ages 12 to 14. This program offers a hands-on learning atmosphere, life-skill development, and several mentorship opportunities with Zoo New England staff members.

This spring, participants will learn about the multiple conservation efforts happening here at Zoo New England, and around the world! You can expect curriculum topics to cover Habitat Loss, Invasive Species, Overhunting, and Climate Change. Expect to leave as a wildlife conservation expert!

Register Today!

2022 Dates:

Six Saturdays in March, April, and May
10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

  • March 26
  • April 2
  • April 9
  • April 16
  • April 30
  • May 7

Franklin Park Zoo

Daily Program Structure:

  • 10:30 a.m. – Arrival, welcome, warm-up activity, and icebreakers
  • 11:00 a.m. – Lesson for the day followed by engaging activity
  • 12:00 p.m. – Break for Lunch
  • 12:30 p.m.– Animal Encounter in ECO Center
  • 1:00 p.m.– Work on Projects or other independent work
  • 1:30 p.m.– Behind the Scenes
  • 2:00 p.m.– Closing Activity

Throughout the program, participants will:

  • Have the opportunity to participate in animal encounters and behind-the-scenes experiences.
  • Gain respect for wildlife, plants and each other.
  • Learn how to work well with others through conflict resolution and teamwork.
  • Discover and develop talents and creativity.
  • Build oral, written and listening skills.
  • Gain leadership skills.

Vaccination Requirements:
In accordance with our current vaccine policy, you must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter all of our Behind-the-Scenes spaces. Effective Tuesday, February 15, 2022, visitors 12 years of age and older are required to present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

Proof of vaccination may include:

  • A CDC vaccination card
  • A digital image of your CDC card
  • An image or printout of any official immunization record
  • A city-designated app containing a digital image of any official immunization record, or any verification application developed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or developed or endorsed by the City of Boston.

If you have any questions please contact the Education Department
Phone: 617-989-3742






Teen Ambassador Program (Paid)

Teen Ambassadors At Turtle Pond
Teen Ambassadors looking for endangered spotted turtles at Stony Brook Reservation Turtle Pond with the Zoo's Assistant Curator.

The Teen Ambassador Program engages Boston youth with a sincere interest in wildlife, education and environmental justice. Throughout the year, youth participate in a variety of activities, projects and professional development workshops. Teen Ambassadors also as act as liaisons between Franklin Park Zoo and the community.

Ages: 15-17 years old
Program Duration: October to May
Program Commitment: 15 hours per week

Applications distributed to Summer ZooTeens in mid-August.

ZooTeen Program (Paid)

Zooteen Gallery

Through collaboration with the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment’s SuccessLink Summer Youth Employment Program, Franklin Park Zoo is able to employ 40 ZooTeens this summer. Over a period of six weeks, ZooTeens work in various departments, including, but not limited to, Animal Care, Education, ZooCamp, and Guest Services. ZooTeens attend professional development classes and participate in student activities!

Ages: 15-18 years old
Program Duration: Summer - July to August
Program Commitment: 25 hours per week

Requirements for Eligibility:

  • Must register with the City of Boston’s SuccessLink AND fill out our online ZooTeen Application
  • Must turn 15 years old, on or before, September 1, 2021
  • Cannot turn 19 years old, on or before, September 1, 2021
  • Must be a full-time resident of the City of Boston, and be enrolled in a high school or a GED/Alternative Education program and have proof of address form school documents
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States.

Apply Today!

ZooTeen Returner Application
ZooTeen Application
SuccessLink Application