Junior Zookeeper Program at Miller Park Zoo
Written by Allison Petric on February 24, 2023
The Junior Zookeeper Program at Miller Park Zoo provides many opportunities for students in junior high and high school. The program is for students who are interested in learning about wildlife and the way zoos function. It is also great for students who are seeking experience working with people and learning leadership and time management skills.
Julia Benzel works at Miller Park Zoo talks about her experience at Miller Park Zoo. Julia says, “I started off as a Junior Zookeeper and found it to be a safe place to be authentically myself”. She also says that she found it fascinating that every student, including herself, was so eager to learn.
Students currently in 5th grade or higher are able to begin this summer. Beginners attend a one-week summer camp. During this week, the students learn about the rules of the program and groups of animals they will be working with. This includes mammals, birds, fish, reptiles. At the end of the week, students dissect fish.
Once they become Master Junior Zookeepers, they are offered a trip to Costa Rica for two weeks. This is an amazing experience for the children to see all the animals they learned about in the jungle.
This program finds students who are interested in STEM and are excited to learn about science and biology. Students spend time expanding their knowledge in the classroom and can eventually become volunteers at the zoo!