A Day in the Life of an Education Intern

By Julie Javorka, Education Intern
Potter Park Zoological Society

Many people may ask about a typical day in Potter Park Zoo's education department as an intern. The truth is there is no such thing as a typical day, every day is different.

As education intern, I help with a variety of tasks and projects. I sometimes do animal presentations either at the zoo or at various locations in the community. This is one of my favorite things. I was trained for these presentations by going through 9 weeks of docent training. Docents are volunteers that help with educational programs and handle the animals in our education collection. Other times, you can find me helping with education events. I designed a game to teach kids about stopover sites with one of my fellow interns and we used this game on International Migratory Bird Day. I also work at FALCONERS events, a program for children with unique challenges and their families. I also spend a good amount of my time assisting with Zookambi, our summer camp. 

In addition to those tasks, the other education interns and I research information for the interpretive graphics in the zoo. We have assisted in putting together presentations about the animals and their conservation. We do training with some of the animals. We are currently working with a tenrec who recently joined the education collection. We help with indoor and outdoor overnights. Scout troops and other groups stay overnight at the zoo; they get a tour or an encounter led by our docents, get to make s’mores or rainforest ice cream sundaes, learn about the animals, and more! 

These are just some of the many things education interns get to do. Interns also can choose a project based on their particular interests.  I personally am very passionate about bat conservation, so I was given the opportunity to put together information about them for the bird and reptile building, and to write a blog about the topic.  If you are a college student or recent graduate interested in a career in conservation education, you can find more information about this internship here http://www.potterparkzoo.org/education-internships  If your goal is to be a keeper, Potter Park also offers animal care internship; to learn more visit http://www.potterparkzoo.org/animal-care-internship