The Naturalist Program at the EcoTarium is an after-school educational initiative geared toward teens ages 14-16 who are interested in community science, careers in STEM, and how museums work. In this program we will discover the amazing surprises of the natural world and help preserve it. Gather water samples and monitor the health of local ponds, play games to understand ecology, meet our resident animals and explore their habitats, and advocate for the planet we all share.


The program will begin on October 4th and 5th and align with the school year with additional volunteering, internship, and community science opportunities with Exhibits, Education, Natural Science Collections, and the Zoo Team in the summer.

We will have two groups meeting twice weekly October through May: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-5:30pm OR Wednesdays and Fridays 2:30-4:30pm.

Some pre-announced trips may take place on weekends, replacing the weekly sessions. We expect students to commit for the length of the academic school year.


Last year we focused on fungi, otters, ponds, gardening, birds, took a field trip to the New England Aquarium, and much more. Join us to find out what we might discover this year!

Applicants should:

  • Be entering 9th or 10th grade in Central MA. Priority will be given to Worcester Public School students
  • Have an interest in natural science and/or learning to work in a museum
  • Complete the application with a caregiver: https://tinyurl.com/NatProgApp
  • Once accepted into the program, all students will be required to submit additional documents electronically such as health history forms

Thanks to generous funders, we are able to offer this program at no cost to families with the goal of serving those in under-resourced communities.

Applications should be completed by September 30th. A waitlist will be maintained in the event of students dropping out or declining their place in the program. This program has the capacity of up to 30 participants.

If you have questions, please contact NaturalistProgram@ecotarium.org.