Victoria Sharrock, human dimensions of natural resources junior, is wrapping up her summer internship with Lufkin’s Ellen Trout Zoo. As the zoo’s education intern, Sharrock directly interacted with the public, as well as the facility’s resident wildlife. We reached out to her to learn more about her experience.
Can you tell us about your responsibilities as the education intern?
My duties as the education intern included helping zoo staff in the education department run Zoo Safari. Zoo Safari is a weeklong summer camp offered over nine different sessions throughout the summer. During the Zoo Safari I led feeding labs, animal encounters, and helped the contract teachers with activities. Towards the middle of my internship, Charlotte Henley, the zoo’s educational director, asked if I would be a contract teacher for three of the weeks, and I enjoyed that opportunity. However, Zoo Safari only runs from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., so for the remainder of the day my duties varied. My duties after Zoo Safari consisted of creating lesson plans, helping the education staff prepare for programming and even shifting the waterfowl off exhibit at the end of the day.
How has this experience advanced your undergraduate career?
This internship has provided me with so many different opportunities. I learned so much about informal education and teaching techniques that will benefit me when I start my career.
What was your favorite aspect of the internship?
My favorite part of my internship was working with the animals and the kids during Zoo Safari. I was given special permission to present the ambassador animals to the campers and even got to lead feeding labs with hippos, lemur and tortoises.
How did you learn about the internship?
I learned about the internship through one of the career days in the Forestry Building, and researched more on the zoo’s website. I was only the second education intern at the Ellen Trout Zoo, and I strongly encourage others to seize this opportunity.