Z.O.O. Crew Program

Career Exploration for Middle & High School Students

Learn respect for animals, gain important life and work skills, and become community contributors by taking care of the Zoo's education animal collection and working on special projects. This after-school program is sponsored by the YES! Fund of Manhattan and is free to participants.

Dates & Times

The program runs everyday Monday through Friday during the school year from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participants are assigned one day per week based on availability of the participant and open spaces in the program. We can only accept a maximum of six participants per day for a total of 30 participants in the program. Participants will only be assigned one afternoon per week. The more days you provide as available to work, the more likely you will get into the program. Even though participants may be available multiple days, they will only be assigned one day per week.

Sunset Zoo is able to offer transportation for youth from the area middle schools to the Sunset Zoo. Participants attending Manhattan High are expected to walk to Sunset Zoo from the school. There is a one-time $40.00 fee for transportation, payable by cash or check and due on or before the first scheduled day for the participant. The transportation fee is only required of those being picked up from school. Youth not requesting transportation must be dropped off at the Zoo's ticket booth by 3:00 p.m. All participants must be picked up from the Zoo's ticket booth by 5:15 p.m. 
The Fall 2023 session begins Monday, September 18th Monday, September 25th. and runs through Friday, December 15th. There will be no Z.O.O. Crew the week of Thanksgiving (November 20 - 26, 2023). We also will not hold Z.O.O. Crew on the days that USD 383 is out of session.

Registration Fees 

There are no participation or training fees! This is a free after-school, STEM-based, career-focused volunteer program.

How to Register 

Registration forms are accepted at the start of each fall and spring semester on a first-come-first-served basis. There is a maximum of 30 participants per semester. Please submit your registration forms early to ensure your spot in the program. This program usually fills before the deadline. Deadline for registration for the Fall semester is Wednesday, September 6, 2023 Saturday, September 16, 2003. Click here for the Z.O.O. Crew registration form. If spaces are available after deadline, registrations will still be accepted. For more information email Nicole Wade, Programs & Education Animals Manager, or call 785-587-2737.

Submit Applications:

  • In person: at the zoo's ticket booth 9:30 AM-5:00 PM everyday; administration office 8:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday-Friday.
  • Mail: Sunset Zoo Education Department; 2333 Oak St; Manhattan, KS 66502
  • Fax: 785-587-2730
  • Electronic Submission: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZOOCrewF2023Registration 


  • Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 5:00 PM Friday, September 22, 2023 at 5:00 PM
  • Notification of Acceptance: Friday, September 8, 2023 by 11:59 PM Monday, September 25, 2023 by 11:59 PM
  • Start of Program: Week of September 18th, 2023 Week of September 25th, 2023 (For registrations received between September 18 and September 22 start date will be October 2). 

Helpful Documents

Check back for program documents/application.  They will be uploaded the first week of each semester.


A passion for animals and desire to learn about their care in a Zoo setting. Prior work or relevant volunteer experience a plus.