More than 60 high-school students from Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties go behind the scenes and come nose to nose with sea otters, penguins, raptors and elephants during the Oregon Zoo's free Career Day, Thursday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Students learn about careers in animal and veterinary care, education, design, management, visitor services, marketing and development. This year's Career Day was coordinated by high school intern Leslie Puente, a junior at Merlo Station.
"During their zoo visit, these kids quickly discover the importance of continuing their education," said Tony Vecchio, zoo director. "They learn what it takes to work at a zoo or other conservation organization, and how they can make a real difference in helping save endangered species by the choices they make."
From touring the animal care facilities to exploring how the zoo promotes its programs, students discover a variety of job possibilities and learn what educational backgrounds are required for each position. Students visit the zoo's animal hospital and go behind the scenes to view penguins, sea otters, elephants, primates and butterflies.
Career Day is a free program offered to local students. The zoo has offered the program since 1999. Students must apply through their "school to work" coordinators to attend.
The Oregon Zoo is committed to education. In 2005-2006, the zoo hosted 254,971 participants through 25 educational programs, including Career Day.