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 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 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 five participants per day for a total of 25 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 happy to announce that we will once again offer transportation for youth from school to the Sunset Zoo. 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 3:30 p.m. All participants must be picked up from the Zoo's ticket booth by 5:45 p.m. 
The Spring 2023 session begins Monday, February 14th and runs through Friday, May 5th. There will be no Z.O.O. Crew the week of Thanksgiving (November 21 - 27, 2022) or Spring Break (March 10 - March 17, 2023). We also will not hold Z.O.O. Crew on the days that USD 383 is out of session. For the Spring, those dates are February 20, April 10, and April 28.

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 25 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 spring semester is Wednesday, February 1, 2023. 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/ZOOCrewS2023Registration

Important Dates

  • Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 5:00 PM 
  • Notification of Acceptance: Friday, February 3, 2023 by 11:59 PM
  • Start of ProgramWeek of February 13, 2023

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.