Discovery Zone Overview Procedures Manual (June 2014)

Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Kids learn by doing and by following their own curiosity. The Discovery Zone is a dynamic place
for children and families to explore science. Most of our families include a child who is between
0-8 years old, but you will see guests of all ages enjoying the exhibit space and learning new
things. We encourage our families to use their skills of observation, testing, measuring, and
more to explore science. Our activities, experiments, crafts and demos highlight the Museum’s
core science areas (paleontology, geology, anthropology, zoology, health and space science),
other science topics (meteorology, physics and chemistry), and foster an appreciation of
The Discovery Zone opened on June 7, 2014, and is located on Level 2 of the Morgridge Family
Exploration Center.
Volunteers and staff make sure that guests feel welcome, and help them to explore activities in
these areas:
Dino Gulch: Just inside the entrance to the Discovery Zone, a climbable life-size
model of a plant-eating duckbill dinosaur welcomes you to Dinosaur Gulch. A
photomural of Museum paleontologists and volunteers sets the stage for doing some
digging of your own. Uncover dinosaur skulls, jaws, teeth, and more in three dig pits set
within a multilevel faux-rock outcrop based on a western interior-inspired dig site.
Opposite the dig, a colorful illustrated mural shows dinosaurs and other animals in their
prehistoric environment.
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Water Way: Open-ended, self-directed water play in the hands-on Water Way
area awakens the natural scientist in every child. A multi-level water table
provides opportunities for children large and small to enjoy the fun and physics of water,
investigate moving water and propelling a variety of objects downstream. At the center of
each of the four basins are laminar jets reminiscent of City Park’s iconic interactive
fountain, H2Odyssey. Water in its most intriguing forms—ice and fog—fill a separate low
basin, where children use spray bottles to pump water over chilled plates. Colorful tubes
with bubbles of varying sizes offer observation experiences and create a playful room
Construction Corner: Beneath a scaled version of DIA’s iconic tensile roof,
activities in the quintessential Construction Corner provide a rich variety of
opportunities to try your hand at both gross-motor and fine-motor challenges. Tables
accommodate removable bins for building materials, and a dynamic wall installation
allows children to create their own ball course with movable track sections. Floor space
is left open for free-form building projects with a variety of materials, and visitors can
work together to build almost anything they can imagine using large foam blocks.
Science Kitchen: Just as the kitchen is the heart of a home, the Discovery Zone’s
Science Kitchen is a welcoming, multi-purpose area designed especially for
group and individual science and art activities. From participatory science
demonstrations at the “kitchen counter” experiment bar and individual tablebased science activities, to investigating the properties of color through hands-on
painting projects and practicing scientific illustration of objects from the
Museum’s collections, this area has it all. A dramatic, oversized “kitchen window”
offers photorealistic views of a virtual outdoor world that mirrors seasonal changes and
weather conditions. A real window offers a view into the “backyard”—the Big Backyard
area on the other side of the wall. : )
Big Backyard: Entered through a low gate, the Big Backyard is a safe and
inviting space for infants and toddlers to practice motor and emotional
development skills, and to take on confidence-building challenges. Caregivers
can keep their eye on the youngest Discovery Zone visitors as they explore and
experience this multisensory, sized-just-right, immersive reconstruction of the
natural world on their own. The area includes a baby pond with nearby fish tank
and a semi-private nursing area, along with a wealth of age-appropriate activities.
Explorer’s Playhouse: Staff perform shows on animals, seasons, dinosaurs, music and
story time! In a setting reminiscent of a playhouse built by kids for kids, Discovery
Zone visitors gather in the Explorer’s Playhouse for interactive performances and
story time. The schedule is displayed on a digital sign board, with a
variety of different programs offered throughout the day. Between shows, children have
a chance to participate in dramatic play or explore science through the Museum’s
education collections.
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Who’s Who on your Team
Natrisha Bayer,
Coordinator of Volunteers for Education Programs
[email protected]
For any questions relating to your volunteer experience contact Natty. Natty helps coordinate multiple
volunteer programs in the Education Department and can help answer questions about logging-in,
badges, scheduling, and volunteer service verification (aka hours reports). She will be your main point of
contact and will provide you with Museum updates and information about trainings or events.
Kris Pohl,
Educator/Coordinator for Discovery Gallery Programs
[email protected]
Cybil Holmes,
Assistant Coordinator for Discovery Gallery Programs
[email protected]
Kris and Cybil are the leaders of the Museum Programs staff responsible for developing the shows and
activities for the discovery zone, as well as activity maintenance. Kris is responsible for overall
coordination of the Discovery Zone, with Cybil doing much of the day to day upkeep. They also serve as
“Team Leaders” for the volunteers scheduled and help to plan shifts, rotations, and on-the-job training for
Museum Programs Staff
One – three educator/performers from our Museum Programs department will be on the team of people
working in the DZ daily. These staff wear all black or DZ t-shirts, and are responsible for facilitating
activities, performing shows in Explorer’s Playhouse, and taking care of daily maintenance tasks. There
are dozens of educator/performers who rotate between several of different programs in Expedition
Health, Space Odyssey, Wildlife Halls, Field Trip Adventures, Summer Camps and Weekend Workshops.
Discovery Zone Mentors
Mentors are a group of leadership volunteers who have experience volunteering at the Museum and have
completed special training. New volunteers will frequently be paired up with a mentor during shifts. A big
part of on-the-job training will be achieved by observing them, hearing their tips and tricks, asking them
questions, and receiving feedback from them as you learn to work more independently in the exhibit. The
great thing about working with a DZ mentor is that they understand what it’s like to be a brand new
volunteer. They were once new volunteers too!
If you have any questions, PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask any of your many teammates during your shift!
Discovery Zone Absentee Line
DZ Volunteer Coordinator
Security Subpost – Volunteer/Staff Entrance
Security’s Emergency Hotline
Museum Information Desk
Volunteer Services Office
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Volunteer Position Description: Discovery Zone Play Associate
Reports To: Coordinator of Volunteers for Education Programs
Responsibility Statement: Discovery Zone Play Associates support the Museum’s
mission by helping young visitors and their families or teachers explore science
concepts and develop science process skills through a variety of activities including
science investigations, cause and effect play, games, puzzles, building, and crafts.
Essential Functions and Standards of Performance
1. Complete specific training to learn content of activities and presentation techniques
Complete the on-the-job training plan
Read and be familiar with the Discovery Zone Volunteer Training Manual and Activity
Attend a majority of the required Discovery Zone Group Volunteer Training Sessions
2. Engage visitors, primarily children, in exploring science using a variety of activities
and investigations
п‚· Create a welcoming atmosphere for each visitor by being friendly, informed,
and enthusiastic
п‚· Be knowledgeable about the supplies, the science content, and the teaching
objectives of Discovery Zone activities
п‚· Deliver accurate content information when interacting with visitors
п‚· Focus on visitor needs and visitor experience
3. Work as a part of a team to ensure optimal coverage throughout the Discovery Zone
п‚· Respond positively to directives and feedback from the DZ staff
п‚· Act as a supportive team member with understanding of the structure of the
Discovery Zone team, the roles of staff and volunteers, and the shift schedule
п‚· Be able to facilitate activities at a variety of the activity stations in the
Discovery Zone
4. Adhere to the Museum’s Education Collections policies while using specimens for
п‚· Follow specimen handling with accuracy and be informed enough to know if
specimens are damaged
5. Maintain the minimum time commitment and follow all scheduling procedures
Respond to scheduling requests and sign up for training sessions before or by set
Understand the policy for schedule changes and absences
6. Represent the Museum in a positive and professional manner
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Understand customer service expectations, training materials, and Museum policies
Other Functions
Attend a New Volunteer Orientation or Volunteer Registration Session (for
teens) and be familiar with Museum policies and procedures as outlined in the
Volunteer Orientation Handbook
Read and be thoroughly familiar with the Discovery Zone Volunteer Training
Complete Education Collections Object Handling Training
Other duties as assigned
Position Requirements - Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
п‚· Genuinely enjoy working with kids
п‚· Motivated to learn new things
п‚· Appreciation of different learning styles
п‚· Interest in learning and using customer service skills
п‚· Experience or interest in learning oral communication and public speaking skills
п‚· Solid team building and people skills
п‚· Strong ability to assess customer needs
п‚· Ability to stay focused on job duties and visitors in a dynamic environment with
many potential distractions
п‚· Carts, toys, and Museum Education Collections
Physical Working Conditions
п‚· Must have the ability to sit and stand for long periods of time
Physical Effort Required
Light physical effort required by handling objects up to 20 pounds occasionally and/or up
to 10 pounds frequently
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Volunteer Logistics
Schedule Requirements
Summer Schedule: Summer Shifts are available June 13–August 31, 2014.
Shift Times:
п‚· Morning Shift (from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
п‚· Afternoon Shift (from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
Minimum Commitment:
п‚· The minimum commitment varies depending on whether you are a new volunteer, mentor and
whether you are also volunteering for our Children’s Programs Department. Generally, we ask
volunteers to come in 7-9 shifts during the summer and 4 shifts each semester of the school year.
NOTE: You cannot sign up for the morning and afternoon shift on the same day.
1. Click on the link below to visit the Volunteer Information Center:
2. Enter Your “Login name” (Your email address)
3. Enter your “Password” (If you don’t know your password, you can request it on the login screen)
4. Click on “My Schedule”
5. At the top of the page, in the blue “Sign Up!” box, there is a drop down menu. Please select Show
openings in: “Discovery Zone Play Associate” (Note: This is your volunteer position name!)
6. Use the green “Next Month” Button to scroll to other months. Inside specific dates on the monthly
calendar, you can click on “Help Wanted” boxes to view open shifts.
7. To sign up for a shift, click on “Schedule Me.” To go back to the previous screen, do not click on your
browser’s back button, instead click on “Calendar View.”
8. After clicking on “Schedule Me,” you will be asked if you would like to sign up for this shift. Select “Yes”
or “No”
9. After signing up for each shift, you must click on “Continue” at the bottom of the screen for the system to
save your selection.
Repeat steps 1 – 4 above.
5. Your scheduled shifts will appear on the calendar in black font with your shift time and the volunteer job
name, “Discovery Zone Play Associate”
6. You can sign up for additional shifts (by following the directions above) and you can print your schedule
(month by month) by clicking on “Printable View” at the bottom of the screen.
Please follow the procedures below to communicate all schedule changes.
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Advance Notice Absence/Change
You cannot remove yourself from a scheduled shift using the VIC.
If you cannot serve a scheduled shift, please login to the Volunteer Information Center and
sign up for a new shift, then send your volunteer coordinator an email with your job name,
the date & time that no longer works.
DZ Volunteer Coordinator and Your Supervisor.. …[email protected] 303.370.6436
Absences & Tardiness
It is essential to notify us if you will be absent or late for your shift.
If you will be late or absent from a shift, call the Absentee Line………………… 303.370.8232
If you are able, please also send a text message to your supervisor…………..303.748.9615
If you are absent, you are NOT required to find a substitute or to “make-up” missed shifts.
Showing Up for Extra Shifts
Please do not show up unless you are scheduled to volunteer. If you would like to sign up for
any additional shifts, you are welcome to login to the VIC and sign up for openings at any time.
The Discovery Zone’s hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Teen & Adult
Morning Shift
Teen & Adult
Afternoon Shift
Family Group
Morning Shift
Family Group
Afternoon Shift
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
12:30 p.m.– 5:00 p.m.
8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
12:30 – 3:00 p.m.
At the beginning of your shift, you will report to the Discovery Zone Office and check-in with your
team. A Museum Programs staff person or DZ Mentor will first share any announcements or
relevant information with you. Next you will determine your shift schedule and break time. If you
need any additional information or training about the activities you will be doing for the day, please
let the staff know. We will do our best to pair you up with a mentor or staff person and help you get
started. All your teammates are here to help you; please don’t be afraid to ask questions!
During your shift, you will participate in 3 rotations at our various exhibit areas and activity stations.
Each rotation will be about one hour and fifteen minutes long. Mentors and new volunteers will be
paired up when possible so that new volunteers can learn by observing and so that all volunteers
will have a helpful and supportive person nearby.
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)
Discovery Zone Volunteers are scheduled to one 15 minute break during their shift. It’s really
important to take this time to take care of yourself! Go to the bathroom, get a snack, enjoy the free
beverages in the staff & volunteer lounge and get to know your teammates. Please be respectful of
others and clean up after yourself. Please also keep track of your break time because other staff &
volunteers’ break times may depend on a prompt return from your break.
It's important that guests are able to recognize staff and volunteers in the Museum. Therefore, all
volunteers are required to wear the official "uniform" when they are working:
Yellow Discovery Zone T-Shirt
Solid color pants, long skirt or long shorts (no blue jeans)
DMNS Identification Badge
Safe shoes (no open toe shoes)
Note: We will have rain ponchos available for the Water Way. But you might want to bring an extra
pair of clothes because it’s possible to get pretty wet after spending an hour playing in this area.
Food and drink are only allowed in designated areas including the staff and volunteer lounge, the
DZ Office, and TRex CafГ© Seating areas on Level 1.
Please be a good role model for our guests with strict adherence to this policy. This means NO
FOOD or BEVERAGES in the Discovery Zone Exhibit. If you are carrying food through the DZ
and into the DZ Office, it needs to be in closed containers and not visible to our guests. If we do not
do a good job keeping the DZ Office clean and crumb free, we could lose our food privileges, so
please be conscientious and respectful of others and take the time to clean up after yourself.
Water is acceptable throughout the Museum as long as it is in a container with a lid. We encourage
you to bring a water bottle with you during your shift. If you bring food with you make sure it is
labeled with your name. You can store it in the community refrigerators in the lounge or DZ office.
If you have bags, backpacks, snacks, jackets, bike helmets or other personal things please bring
your own lock and plan to keep your items in a locker in the staff & volunteer lounge.
Personal items should not be left in the DZ in view of guests or on shared work surfaces. There is
an area for small items, like a sweatshirt, small bag or water bottle in the Discovery Zone office
area. If you have any valuables with you, please plan to leave them in a locker in the staff and
volunteer lounge.
You can have your cell phone with you, but we ask that you do not use it while actively
volunteering. Plan to place phone calls or send messages before or after your shift or during your
break times. If it urgent and you need to answer a call or send a message, please let a staff person
know your situation. You first need to step outside the exhibit or go in the office area to use your
phone. This should only be done on rare occasions when waiting for a break or the end of your shift
is not possible.
Instead of posting information on a bulletin board in the staff & volunteer lounge, we have a
“Volunteer Binder” located in the Discovery Zone.
The Volunteer Binder contains:
п‚· A Copy of the Volunteer Schedule
DMNS В©2014
Training Checklists (during the school year this is your roadmap for learning additional DZ
Updates & Newsletters
Information about Upcoming Events (like volunteer trainings & parties!)
п‚· Please review and sign the Volunteer Code of Conduct for a description of our expectations
You will invest a lot of time and energy in your volunteer work and some of you will we need an
adequate amount of time to write a letter of recommendation that appropriately reflects your
strengths, your areas of improvement, and your accomplishments as a Museum volunteer. Before
requesting a letter of recommendation read the information below.
Contact your Volunteer Coordinator [email protected] 303.370.6436
You must provide 5 business days notice for letters of recommendation.
You will be asked to complete a self-evaluation form.
Please include pertinent information in your request
(recipient of letter, purpose, deadline, description of program or scholarship)
You must provide 2 business days notice when requesting an official “Hours Report” or
verification of how many hours you have volunteered:
To do this, contact your Volunteer Coordinator [email protected] 303.370.6436
If you need something signed to confirm your service, plan to scan and email the document
to be signed to save time. If it is not possible to email the document, you must set up an
appointment with your volunteer coordinator via phone or email to bring it in and get it
Important: If you need a letter of recommendation or “Hours Report” mailed to you, your school or
a special program, please include a few days for mailing in your planning timeline. If Natty is not in
the office, contact the administrative assistant in the volunteer department.
For liability reasons we ask that you do not bring your family members or friends with you to
volunteer. If someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer, please have them
contact Natty or give them the main number for the Volunteer Services Department for
information about the application and interview process.
Volunteer Services Main Line and Admin Assistant ……………………..… 303.370.6419
As a general principle, we ask volunteers not to have affectionate or unnecessary physical contact
with any visitors. Physical touch is an important element in the care of children and is an essential
part of the nurturing process in close relationships. However in the Museum setting, physical
contact may be misconstrued by a visitor, parent, or teacher. Touching kids, including wellintentioned gestures such as putting an arm around a child’s shoulder or patting their back, could
potentially, upset a child and/or their adult caretaker.
DMNS В©2014
You will demonstrate your goodwill and friendliness, by assisting children in their explorations of the
exhibit space and activities and helping them play and learn here at the Museum.
Acceptable Forms of Physical Contact
There will be times that a child self-initiates appropriate forms of physical contact. See list below
for examples:
Hand shake
High five
Tapping your arm before asking a question
Taking you by the hand to lead you something else in the room
Unacceptable Forms of Physical Contact
There will also be times when children might initiate physical contact that crosses the line of what is
appropriate in our Museum setting. Even if the child is comfortable with the contact, we ask that
you re-direct your interaction in an effort to avoid the following things.
A child asks you to hold them, pick them up, or carry them
A child asks to sit on your lap
A child tries to hang or climb on you
*You can also tell a child that you are not comfortable with contact they are initiating. Examples of
this might be latching on to a leg or playing with your hair. If children are participating in unsafe
activities with you or others (e.g. rough housing or kicking) please try to get them interested in
doing something else. If this doesn’t work, find a staff person to help you.
The above lists are not entirely inclusive. We rely on you to have a high level of awareness about
physical boundaries and exercise good judgment within the varying circumstances you will
encounter. If you have questions about this policy or about interpreting it, please speak with your
volunteer coordinator or a staff member.
You will see that every adult has their own standard and style of dealing with errant behavior. In
most cases, we defer to the adult accompanying the child to do their best to help manage that
child’s behavior.
However, there will be times when there is a need to set a limit or modify a child’s behavior or
activities. For example if a certain behavior could cause a visitor to injure themselves or others, to
damage Museum property, or to cause a disruption to someone else’s ability to play and enjoy the
exhibit, and the adult accompanying the child isn’t doing anything to prevent the behavior, we’d like
you to try and intervene.
Redirect, redirect, redirect!
As a standard first measure, try to re-direct a child. For example: If a child is throwing blocks and
you are worried they will hit another someone, try to get them engaged in a more positive behavior.
1. Try saying, in a really excited voice, “Do you want to help me build a REALLY TALL tower?!” etc.
If redirecting does not work, explain why a behavior is not safe.
If a few attempts to redirect a child or group of children does not work, politely ask the children to
stop what they are doing. Also tell them why the behavior is unsafe or disruptive and offer an
alternative. It might also help to then inform the accompanying adult about your concerns in a
polite and tactful manner.
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2. Next you can try saying, “We can’t throw blocks in here because the blocks could hit someone
and hurt them. There are babies and other kids playing here too, and we need to keep everyone
safe. I need your help to keep this area safe. Instead of throwing the blocks like that, we can use
them to build an arch, or a tower, or a building. Or I could help you build something else. What do
you think we should make?” etc.
Again, remember that touching guests is never permitted especially when setting a limit. Volunteers
are not expected to act as major disciplinarians. If there is a problem with the behavior of a visitor
that is beyond your control, or if you are not comfortable trying to modify someone’s behavior talk to
a staff member. If necessary the staff person can call Security. Security officers are trained to
provide assistance in handing disruptive visitors.
If you encounter a child who has become separated from his/her family or group, please notify a
staff member or ask another volunteer to get a staff member while one of you stay with the child.
Becoming separated in a building as big and crowded as the Museum can be a terrifying
experience for both a child and a parent or caregiver. Please turn your full attention to the situation
in an effort to help. This is now your most important priority.
If the adult accompanying the child cannot be located quickly and easily in the Discovery Zone, the
staff person will call Security. The person who stays with the child should talk calmly and
reassuringly to the child. This will usually be a staff member, unless you are comfortable to talk to
the upset child.
Try saying, “My name is ____ and I am going to stay with you and help you. Were you with your
mom or dad or teacher? Do you remember what color (mom, dad, or teacher’s) hair or shirt is?
Let’s look around together.”
Do not “announce” to others around you that the child is lost and “ask” for someone to claim the
child. This can put a child in danger of being abducted.
If you have not yet spotted a worried adult by this time, Security Staff will likely be on the scene
to take over.
The Security Subpost is the central lost-and-found location for the Museum. If you find something
valuable please let a staff member know right away so that one of you can take it to Subpost as
soon as possible. In turn, if you lose something, check with staff at Security Subpost. If you find
something as you are entering or leaving the Museum, please turn it in directly to the Security
officer on duty.
In the case of any injuries, notify a staff member right away. They will determine if a band-aid is
adequate or if our Security Department needs to be notified. Security Staff are trained in first aid
and will respond with the appropriate first aid assistance. Note: There is a first aid kit in the DZ
Office, but please check-in with staff anytime someone gets hurt.
In an emergency DO NOT use the elevators or escalators unless directed to by Security.
If you hear any alarm and announcement, please report to a staff member. They will help you
interpret the information and direct you appropriately. You might be directed to leave the Museum
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or you might be directed to help guests leave the exhibit and get to a safer location within the
Museum. The following is general information. Please note that every situation is different and staff
will help you understand the best action to take in any emergency situation.
Volunteer Evacuation Responsibilities
During an evacuation or a call to take shelter, your role as a volunteer will be to help
communicate with guests and direct them to safety. In either emergency, please avoid the
elevators and escalators and instead use the stairs.
Where are the Stairs?
There are two sets of stairwells near the Discovery Zone.
There is a stairwell just north of the Discovery Zone front door, which exits inside the Museum
on Level 1 near the south school doors. Using this stairwell and going out the south school
doors will get you outside of the Museum very quickly. Once outside, staff, volunteers and
visitors are asked to walk around to the North Parking Lot and gather near the Evacuation
Assembly Area.
There is also an alarmed emergency exit located in the Science Kitchen across from the family
restroom. This door leads to a stairwell that ends on the first floor in a locked hallway near our
south loading dock. You cannot get back into the main Museum if you use this emergency exit
and stairs. Instead you will exit the Museum through a door that takes you directly outside.
Fire Alarm
When a fire alarm is activated, you will hear several tones and the announcement. Listen to the
announcement for information. One person from your team might need to stand by the front
door or outside the Discovery Zone to hear. After a fire alarm, do not direct guests to evacuate
unless given the specific instructions to do so.
Tornado Call to Take Shelter
The tornado call to shelter has no investigative period. It is your notice to IMMEDIATELY
begin directing guests to shelter.
The two stairwells closest to the Discovery Zone (described above) are safe shelter areas. You
can also use the set of stairs to the north of the DZ front door to access Level 1. Once on Level
1, if you walk north 20 paces, you will find another set of stairs (behind the school lunch room).
You can take those stairs to a safe shelter area in the basement.
Fire Evacuation
Using the stairs closest to the DZ, exit the Museum. Once you are outside the building, walk
around to the North Parking Lot and gather near the Evacuation Assembly Area.
Power Outage
If a power outage occurs, please stay calm. Be assured that Security is investigating and taking
the steps necessary to be sure that the situation remains under control. After the Security
Department has assessed the situation and determined how long the outage is going to last,
you will be notified of what steps to take (including whether an evacuation of the building is
determined to be necessary and what your role will be).
NOTE: Guests Needing Assistance
Staff and volunteers should direct any guests needing extra assistance in evacuating to the
atria bridges and Security will assist them.
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DMNS Teen Volunteer Code of Conduct
As a Teen Volunteer, please remember that you are a professional representative of the Denver
Museum of Nature & Science. Your actions and words make a lasting impression on our
program participants and guests and affect how our institution is regarded within the community.
Please help us continue to build our reputation for quality educational programs and exceptional
customer service.
I agree to perform the volunteer duties outlined in my volunteer job description(s) to the best of
my ability. When I need clarification, I will ask questions. I will accept supervision and feedback
about my performance, demonstrate integrity, strive for excellence, and promote respect for
our environment and community. I will act appropriately and responsibly in an effort to be a
positive role model and professional representative of the Museum.
I understand that I am responsible for following all policies and procedures outlined in my
volunteer handbooks. I have visited the Volunteer Portal at and know these
documents and additional resources are available online.
I have been informed of the two-step procedure to follow when I am running late or will be
absent for one of my scheduled shift times.
1. I will call 303.370.8232 to inform Museum staff of tardiness or absence for a shift.
2. If I have a cell phone, I will ALSO send a text message to my supervisor.
Children’s Programs – text Stefan @ 303.845.2322 Discovery Zone – text Natty @ 303.748.9615
I am also aware that the following things are not appropriate, nor acceptable to do while
п‚· Demonstrating disrespect for any program participants (This includes children,
parents, staff, or other volunteers)
п‚· Using profane language
п‚· Talking or Texting on a cell phone or wireless device while actively volunteering
п‚· Wearing headphones and listening to music or playing phone games while volunteering
п‚· Eating in exhibits or areas in the Museum which are not approved spaces for food
п‚· Leaving your group or position or without telling someone on your team
п‚· Failing to adhere to the dress code for your position and in the DMNS Teen Volunteer
Dress Code Policy
 Bringing friends or family members to “volunteer‟ with you or to visit with you during your
shift or bringing your personal guests into non-public spaces
As a DMNS volunteer, I will make every effort to enhance the experience of the Museum’s guests and
program participants by being friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and approachable. By signing below, I
acknowledge that I have read and agree to the terms of this document, the volunteer handbooks, my job
description(s) and the policies specific to my volunteer jobs. I understand that failure to comply with the
aforementioned may result in dismissal from the program.
Volunteer Name
Volunteer Signature
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A part of being a volunteer is welcoming children and families to the Museum and introducing
yourself and activities. We asked our own DMNS Volunteers what being friendly looks like.
Below are some of their creative answers to the question of how to be warm and
Discovery Zone Volunteers suggested:
п‚· Tell guests your name & ask them their names
 Ask about their visit. “What things have you already seen today?”
 Say “hello” with a puppet
 Give them a challenge. “Do you think you can build a tower taller than your brother?”
 Ask a question “Do you want to try this?”
 Find something unexpected about an activity: “Can you make the magnet cars
move without touching the magnet wand to the cars?”
 Draw their attention to something you are doing. “Hey, check this out!”
п‚· Invite kids and parents to color or make a craft or dig for dinosaur bones
 Try to join in their play, by saying “can I help you
п‚· Smile
п‚· Tell them a joke
п‚· Ask them and ice breaker question to get the conversation started
Children’s Programs Volunteers suggested:
п‚· Acknowledge and welcome children when they arrive for the day
п‚· Tell children your name and that you are going to play with them and help them
п‚· Be enthusiastic and sociable
 Be aware of children’s needs and offer help when appropriate
 It’s important to focus on interacting with children during camps and socialize with your
fellow volunteers before or after you shift
п‚· Be a good listener
п‚· Learning new things keeps volunteering interesting
 When you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
Then try to find someone who does know the answer (ask another volunteer,
your teachers, Stefan, Kerri or other staff members)
 Be curious, it’s contagious
п‚· Ask questions to find out what kids already know
п‚· Involve kids in discovering the answers for themselves!
п‚· Have fun!
Discovery Zone Play Associate Training Manual
DMNS В©2014 (updated)