Education Volunteers

Join Us As We Grow Our Team! Become a Volunteer with the New York Aquarium Education Department!

Sign-up for a volunteer open-house at the New York Aquarium today.

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Education Volunteers engage and educate aquarium guests in a variety of ways. Whether they are connecting people to animals and nature at the park's touch pool, exploring conservation stories through interpretation at exhibits, or taking on active roles in conservation by assisting with campaigns- education volunteers are vital to the WCS mission to save wildlife and wild places worldwide.

As an education volunteer, you will have the opportunity to meet individuals from around the world and join a family of fellow volunteers, staff, and wildlife experts who share a passion for our natural world. You can help in a variety of ways to staff exhibits, teach visitors about marine conservation, and assist at events and education programs.

Education volunteer programs are open to:

  • Working and Retired Adults
  • Seniors
  • College/Grad Students
  • Teens who are at least 15 years of age or older
There are many ways to volunteer with us!
Volunteer ProgramProgram DescriptionCommitment
Education Assistant Assist NYA educators with our programs and help to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards. Education Assistants provide support to our Education Staff during school, family, and outreach programs, and summer camp.Minimum expectations: 2-4 shifts per month (full day or ½ day shifts). Flexible scheduling.
Play PartnerIntroduce aquarium guests, children and their caregivers to amazing local wildlife at the Touch Pool and through fun, interactive play and engaging activities around the aquarium.Minimum expectations: 2-4 shifts per week or month (depending on season). Full day or ½ day shifts available. Flexible scheduling.
WCS Now InterpreterEngage aquarium guests through interactive, conservation-based activities and lively interpretive talks and discussions at exhibits. Assist with campaign-related petitions and crafts that encourage conservation action.Minimum expectations: 2-4 shifts per week or month (depending on season). Full day or ½ day shifts available. Flexible scheduling.

Requirements

To get involved, print and fill out an application. You must be at least 15 years or older by the deadline date to apply for the programs listed above. Admission to all programs is competitive. After an interview and orientation, accepted candidates must complete all days of training for their chosen program (see training schedule below). All applicants must also have their own e-mail address and regular access to the internet.

Applicants 18 years of age and older must also submit and clear a background check if accepted into the program.

Volunteer Role Application Due Training Dates* Number of Training Dates
Education Assistant September 28, 2017 @ 4 p.m. EST Sunday, October 15
Sunday, October 22
2 days of Training. Must attend both dates.
Play Partner January 5, 2018 @ 4 p.m. EST Session 1: January 24, 2018 & February 24, 2018
Session 2: March 18, 2018 & April 8, 2018
2 days of Training.
WCS Now Interpreter January 5, 2018 @ 4 p.m. EST January 28, 2018; February 4, 10, 18, 25; March 4 & 11 7 day training. Must attend all dates.

*Training dates are subject to change.

Application Process & Training Sessions

We will only accept applications for consideration during the application period listed above. All applications must be complete and received no later than 4:00pm EST on the date listed above. Applicants under age 18 must have a parent sign their application form and all applicants currently enrolled in high school must have a teacher fill out the recommendation form. Additional letters of recommendation may be submitted with the application; however, these documents should not be submitted in place of the official forms. Please do not include copies of your school transcripts.

An orientation and interview are mandatory. We will call or e-mail you to schedule an interview after we have received and reviewed your completed application. Late, incomplete or illegible applications will not be considered. Please note that due to the high number of applicants, not everyone is called for an interview. Applicants who are not selected for an interview will be notified by e-mail.

If accepted into the education volunteer program, you will be required to attend the training course. The training includes sessions on marine science, public speaking skills, and activities designed to foster good relations among volunteers. Please check the training dates and be sure that you can attend all of the dates before applying to the program. All days of training for selected program are mandatory.

Applicants who have been interviewed will receive notification of their acceptance by e-mail at least 2 weeks before the start of the training.

Download the application. (There is only one application for both programs.)

Download the teacher recommendation form (high school students only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Tips for Submitting your Application

Contact

If you have any questions, please call the volunteer office at (718) 265-3450, Sunday through Saturday, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or e-mail nyadocent@wcs.org.



Education Assistant Volunteer

We are not currently accepting applications for Play Partner Volunteers, but watch this page for updated information!

We are currently seeking individuals to fill weekday volunteer shifts (Monday through Friday)

Education Assistant greet and engage groups as they enter park and guide them to their classrooms. They will also provide support to NYA Educators during classes and activities, by assisting with school, family and general audience programs, aquarium camps, birthday parties, and outreach programs. Education Assistant Volunteers May also assist with Touch Pool when needed.

What are some of the responsibilities?

  • Greet school groups at the Gate and escort them to their classroom
  • Support the Instructor during classes with various duties
  • Lead exhibit visits
  • Provide input for new program opportunities
  • Meet with the Instructors/Education team on a regular basis
  • Assist with future program preparations
  • Facilitate animal encounters at the aquarium's Touch Pool as needed

Education Assistant Volunteers should:

  • Have an Enthusiasm for working with children and their families
  • Have an Appreciation for hands-on, creative activities
  • Have an Interest in formal and informal education practices
  • Be Comfortable supporting Educators and taking directions as needed
  • Be Comfortable with handling live invertebrates
  • Have the Ability to kneel/sit on the ground, ability to stand/move about facility for a full day if needed, in all weather
  • Have the Ability to lift 30 lbs. or more

Commitment

  • Volunteers commit to serving a minimum 2-4 shifts per month (full day or ½ day shifts; both set and open schedules available).
  • We have shifts available Sundays through Saturdays (7 days). Mostly Morning shifts with some Afternoon shifts available.
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Volunteers self-select each month the days and shifts they wish to volunteer.

Application Process & Training Sessions

We will only accept applications for consideration during the application period listed above. All applications must be complete and received no later than 4 p.m. EST on the date listed above. Applicants under age 18 must have a parent sign their application form and all applicants currently enrolled in high school must have a teacher fill out the recommendation form. Additional letters of recommendation may be submitted with the application; however, these documents should not be submitted in place of the official forms. Please do not include copies of your school transcripts.

An orientation and interview are mandatory. We will call or e-mail you to schedule an interview after we have received and reviewed your completed application. Late, incomplete or illegible applications will not be considered. Please note that due to the high number of applicants, not everyone is called for an interview. Applicants who are not selected for an interview will be notified by e-mail.

If accepted into the education volunteer program, you will be required to attend the training course. The training includes sessions on marine science, public speaking skills, and activities designed to foster good relations among volunteers. Please check the training dates below and be sure that you can attend all of the dates before applying to the program. All days of training for are mandatory.

Applicants who have been interviewed will receive notification of their acceptance by e-mail at least 2 weeks before the start of the training.

Training Schedule - TBD

Download the application. (There is only one application for both programs.)

Download the teacher recommendation form (high school students only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Tips for Submitting your Application

Contact

If you have any questions, please call the volunteer office at (718) 265-3450, Sunday through Saturday, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or e-mail nyadocent@wcs.org.

Play Partner Volunteer

APPLY BY 4 p.m. EST on JANURAY 5, 2018 for WINTER & SPRING SESSIONS

We are currently recruiting for both weekday & weekend shifts!

Play Partner Education Volunteers engage aquarium guests by facilitating drop-in activities with families at Touch Pools, Ocean Adventure stations, and Nature Play sites. Play Partner Education Volunteers will assist children and caregivers in free play exploration.

What are some of the responsibilities?

  • Help facilitate fun, interactive and engaging activities at Ocean Adventure stations
  • Facilitate animal encounters at the aquarium's Touch Pool
  • Facilitate nature-based/ nature play activities

Play Partner Volunteers should:

  • Have an Enthusiasm for working with young children and their caregivers
  • Have an Appreciation for hands-on, creative activities
  • Have a Fun, welcoming personality
  • Not mind getting messy/dirty
  • Be Comfortable with handling live invertebrates
  • Have the Ability to kneel and sit on the ground and be outdoors in varying temperatures

Commitment

  • Attend two days of training
  • Volunteers commit to serving a minimum 2-4 shifts per week or month (depending on season).
  • Full day or ½ day shifts; both set and open schedules available.
  • Flexible scheduling
  • We have shifts available Sundays through Saturdays (7 days). Mostly Morning shifts with some Afternoon shifts available.
  • Volunteers self-select each month the days and shifts they wish to volunteer.

Application Process & Training Sessions

We will only accept applications for consideration during the application period listed above. All applications must be complete and received no later than 4 p.m. EST on the date listed above. Applicants under age 18 must have a parent sign their application form and all applicants currently enrolled in high school must have a teacher fill out the recommendation form. Additional letters of recommendation may be submitted with the application; however, these documents should not be submitted in place of the official forms. Please do not include copies of your school transcripts.

An orientation and interview are mandatory. We will call or e-mail you to schedule an interview after we have received and reviewed your completed application. Late, incomplete or illegible applications will not be considered. Please note that due to the high number of applicants, not everyone is called for an interview. Applicants who are not selected for an interview will be notified by e-mail.

If accepted into the education volunteer program, you will be required to attend the training course. The training includes sessions on marine science, public speaking skills, and activities designed to foster good relations among volunteers. Please check the training dates below and be sure that you can attend all of the dates before applying to the program. All days of training for are mandatory.

Applicants who have been interviewed will receive notification of their acceptance by e-mail at least 2 weeks before the start of the training.

Training Schedule

Session 1 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Session 2 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 28, 2018 Sunday, March 18, 2018
Saturday, February 24, 2018 Sunday, April 8, 2018

You must attend both dates for Session 1 OR Session 2.

Download the application. (There is only one application for both programs.)

Download the teacher recommendation form (high school students only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Tips for Submitting your Application

Contact

If you have any questions, please call the volunteer office at (718) 265-3450, Sunday through Saturday, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or e-mail nyadocent@wcs.org.

WCS Now Interpreter

APPLY BY 4 p.m. EST on JANUARY 5, 2018 for WINTER/SPRING SESSION

We are currently recruiting for both weekday & weekend shifts!

WCS Now Interpreter: Level 1 Volunteer

Engage guests by facilitating interactive, conservation-based activities at exhibits and other specific locations in the park, assist with campaign-related petitions and crafts. Level 1 Interpreters will use activities to engage visitors of all ages and may also facilitate animal interactions at Touch Pool as needed.

What are some of the responsibilities?

  • Help facilitate fun, interactive conservation based activities at exhibits
  • Engage guests of all ages in lively, interpretive talks and conversations on wildlife and conservation
  • Assist with WCS Campaigns through related petitions and crafts; engaging guests in conservation action
  • Facilitate animal encounters at the aquarium's Touch Pool as needed

Level 1 Interpreter Volunteers should:

  • Have an Enthusiasm for working with children and their families
  • Have Strong improvisation skills with a flair for the theatrical
  • Have an Appreciation for hands-on, creative activities
  • Be Outgoing and Approachable
  • Be Eager to learn and try new things
  • Be Comfortable with handling live invertebrates
  • Have the Ability to be on your feet for 4-6 hours (depending on shift), in all types of weather.
  • Be Committed to sharing the WCS mission and message

WCS Now Interpreter: Level 2 Volunteer

Engage guests by facilitating interactive, conservation-based activities at exhibits and other specific locations in the park, assist with campaign-related petitions and crafts. Level 2 Interpreters will use activities to engage visitors of all ages, perform narrations at exhibits where none currently exist (TBD) and will educate guests in the aquarium's Aquatheatre pre-show engagement. All WCS Now Interpreters (Levels 1 and 2) may also facilitate animal interactions at Touch Pool as needed.

What are some of the responsibilities?

  • All that is listed for Level 1 Interpreters and…
  • Perform narrations at exhibits where none currently exist
  • Educate guests in the aquarium's Aquatheatre pre-show engagement
  • Facilitate animal encounters at the aquarium's Touch Pool as needed

WCS Now Interpreter- Level 2 Education Volunteers should:

  • All that is listed for Level 1 WCS Now Interpreters and…
  • Have Strong public speaking skills & memorization skills
  • Demonstrate Flexibility, ability to observe and respond to animal behavior
  • Be Comfortable using a microphone
  • Have the Ability to be on your feet for 4-6 hours (depending on shift), in all types of weather.
  • Be Committed to sharing the WCS mission and message

Commitment

  • Attend all of the 5 to 7 day training (depending on season)
  • Volunteers commit to serving a minimum 2-4 shifts per week or month (depending on season).
  • Full day or ½ day shifts; both set and open schedules available.
  • Flexible scheduling
  • We have shifts available Sundays through Saturdays (7 days). Morning shifts and Afternoon shifts available.
  • Volunteers self-select each month the days and shifts they wish to volunteer.

Application Process & Training Sessions

We will only accept applications for consideration during the application period listed above. All applications must be complete and received no later than 4 p.m. EST on the date listed above. Applicants under age 18 must have a parent sign their application form and all applicants currently enrolled in high school must have a teacher fill out the recommendation form. Additional letters of recommendation may be submitted with the application; however, these documents should not be submitted in place of the official forms. Please do not include copies of your school transcripts.

An orientation and interview are mandatory. We will call or e-mail you to schedule an interview after we have received and reviewed your completed application. Late, incomplete or illegible applications will not be considered. Please note that due to the high number of applicants, not everyone is called for an interview. Applicants who are not selected for an interview will be notified by e-mail.

If accepted into the education volunteer program, you will be required to attend the training course. The training includes sessions on marine science, public speaking skills, and activities designed to foster good relations among volunteers. Please check the training dates below and be sure that you can attend all of the dates before applying to the program. All days of training for are mandatory.

Applicants who have been interviewed will receive notification of their acceptance by e-mail at least 2 weeks before the start of the training.

Training Schedule

Sunday, January 28, 2018 Sunday, February 4, 2018 Saturday, February 10, 2018
Sunday, February 18, 2018 Sunday, February 25, 2018 Sunday, March 4, 2018
Sunday, March 11, 2018

You must attend all dates of training. Training begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

Download the application. (There is only one application for both programs.)

Download the teacher recommendation form (high school students only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Tips for Submitting your Application

Contact

If you have any questions, please call the volunteer office at (718) 265-3450, Sunday through Saturday, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or e-mail nyadocent@wcs.org.

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