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.

Boston BioBlitz Initiative for Girls

The Boston BioBlitz Initiative for Girls (BBIG) program engages young girls, grades 6-8, in meaningful STEM learning experiences through informal classroom activities, outdoor exploration and field trips to local urban wildlife areas. 


This program is:

  • Intended for Boston Public School students, grades 6-8
  • Free to attend, but registration is required

Throughout the BBIG program, students will become experts on identifying local plant and animal wildlife in their community and make significant contributions to various biodiversity and citizen science projects. Students will also learn how to use wildlife observing platforms including iNaturalist and eBird.

This program will be held on Saturdays at Franklin Park Zoo, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Registered participants are expected to attend all five sessions of the program.

Session dates: February 29, March 14, March 28, April 11 and April 25

This year, Zoo New England and the BBIG program will be partnering with BoSTEM to engage middle school students and offer high quality opportunities and outcomes for students interested in STEM. For more information, please visit: www.bostonbeyond.org/STEM

Please contact the BBIG program educator with questions or for more information. 
Email: nlee@zoonewengland.org Phone: 617-989-2093

Junior ZooTeen Program


About the program

The Jr. ZooTeen program is a creative and meaningful educational opportunity for highly-motivated youth ages 11 to 14. This program offers a hands-on learning atmosphere, life-skill development, and several mentorship opportunities with Zoo New England staff members.


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.

2020 Session dates:

  • February 29
  • March 7 & 21
  • April 4 & 18
  • May 2, 9, & 16






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.

Upon completion of the ZooTeen Program, selected teens are given the opportunity to extend their work at the Zoo throughout the school year. Focusing on animal husbandry, education and community relations, Teen Ambassadors participate in a variety of activities, projects and meetings, as well as act as liaisons between the 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

The deadline to register for our 2019 program has passed. Please check this page again for future opportunities.

Through collaboration with the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, the Zoo is able to employ up to 55 teens each summer. Over a period of six weeks, these teens work in various departments, including but not limited to Animal Care, Development, Membership, and Guest Services. They attend professional development classes and participate in fun student activites.

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

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

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. Learn more