High School Explainer Program
Recruitment for the Fall 2023 onsite Intern Explainer Session begins this spring. Participation in the Explainer Program group interview and the August 2023–Janaury 2024 volunteer season is contingent on students’ proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Saturday, April 1, 2023; 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Send RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 27, 2023
Fall 2023 Application Deadline:
Thursday, April 20, 2023; 11:59 p.m.
Internship Interview Dates:
Held in the Children’s Garden at 11 a.m. Candidates are invited to attend one of the interview dates listed below.
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Sunday, May 7, 2023
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Fall 2023 Intern Orientation:
Wednesday, June 14, 2023; 7 p.m.
Mandatory Intern Training (Attendance required to all training days):
Tuesday–Friday, August 22–25; 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Fall 2023 Weekend Internship:
August 2023–January 2024
Explainers are high school students who have been accepted into a competitive internship program and work as volunteer educators in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden.
Explainers learn about nature and plant science in order to become environmental educators for children and families by exploring the Garden. They commit to a minimum of 125 training and volunteer hours.
The Onsite Internship takes place at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. This is a unique, 12-acre outdoor/indoor museum at The New York Botanical Garden (in Bronx, NY). In this innovative space children discover plant science through fun and engaging educational programs. Playful elements such as topiaries and mazes capture children’s imaginations and create an atmosphere of exploration and fun.
Teens share a sense of community, forge new friendships, and spend time outdoors exploring nature. Teens become more self-confident through public speaking, gain a deeper knowledge of a topic (plant science and ecology specifically), and share experiences with peers.
During the Onsite Internship, MetroCards are provided to defray the cost of transportation to and from the Garden. The onsite Internship benefits include admission for Explainers’ families to visit the garden, discounts at the Cafe and Shop in the Garden as well as documentation of service hours and recommendations for college or other scholarship programs.
Intern Explainers are accepted into the program twice a year in the spring or fall session. The application process for the fall session takes place late spring before summer break. Specific session dates are listed above. Each session requires a commitment to attend all four training days and one weekend shift of 4.5 hours for the duration of the internship. Interns who successfully complete internship requirements have the option to apply to advanced levels of the program.
Students who submit complete applications by the Application Deadline (see above for dates) are invited to attend a group interview. Students will be contacted via e-mail and given a scheduled interview date. Group interviews are interactive and take place in-person within the Children’s Adventure Garden. All applicants interviewed will receive an email following the interview with an admission decision.
Accepted applicants will receive an invitation to attend the required Explainer Orientation with a parent or guardian in person. Explainers accepted into the program are required to complete 24 hours of team training before they may begin actively volunteering. Dates of the orientation and training are noted on the website. Attendance is mandatory.
There is no single type of person who is chosen to be an Explainer. The best Explainers are enthusiastic learners who enjoy nature, science, and sharing discoveries with others (especially children). Explainers learn to communicate with the public and gain confidence in a variety of circumstances. Explainers don’t always start out as great public speakers, but they do begin with a willingness to work and try hard.
Application deadlines are strictly adhered to. If your application is submitted after the deadline, it will be considered for the next available session. If you would like to update your application, you may submit a new one at any time.
If Explainers have completed 125 volunteer hours at the six-month deadline:
- They may leave the Program
- They may apply to be an Advanced Explainer
Advanced Explainers are offered opportunities to participate in special projects throughout the year in addition to continuing to develop their teaching practice as environmental educators. They explore plant science and ecology subjects through active experiences at the Garden. Advanced Explainers are paid through a generous grant from the NYC City Council.
There are a small number of part-time, paid leadership opportunities at the Adventure Garden for the positions of Master and Senior Explainer. When these positions become available, Advanced Explainers in good standing may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter.
Explainers who do not complete the 125 hours before the six-month deadline do not receive a completion certificate or letter of recommendation for their service.
Because all Explainers receive all the training and enrichment they will need for the Program, Explainers need only to be enthusiastic learners with an interest in being good educators and helping others to learn and grow! Having a general interest in nature, plant sciences, ecology, and education is very helpful.
In the Onsite Internship, no matter what the season, Explainers help young visitors to use science process skills to explore nature and make their own discoveries. Activity stations focus on concepts such as prediction, observation, measurement (sense of scale), data collection, or journaling. Explainers help children to practice these skills through fun, engaging processes such as using magnifying lenses, creating an observational drawing, collecting and observing samples from the pond wetland, or collecting data about life in the Garden. Explainers facilitate Family Programs by standing to lead hands-on activities with visiting families. Explainers switch between various activity stations and typically remain at a given station for up to one hour. Explainers receive a 30-minute break during every 4.5-hour shift.