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Youth Programs Internship




Position Description

The Office of Education and Outreach at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) seeks Program Assistant Interns to assist with the coordination and implementation of our youth programs at the museum. The National Museum of Natural History and the Office of Education currently run two youth programs, the Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) program and the Q?Crew Teen Volunteer Program. The intern’s primary role will be to assist the Program Coordinators in the execution of day-to-day tasks and to provide management of and mentorship to youth participating in our program. Interns report directly to the Program Coordinators for each program and are part of the Education and Outreach staff. Other logistical tasks will be assigned on an as-needed basis. This position requires good organizational skills to meet deadlines, and offers a special opportunity to work with youth as a leader and role model.

Program Overviews:

Youth Engagement through Science

Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) is a highly regarded science internship and professionalization program for under-resourced youth from communities traditionally underrepresented in science careers. The program provides direct, in-depth access to and engagement with Smithsonian research, collections and experts, college preparation classes, and opportunities to build and use science communication skills to prepare young people to become 21st century scientists or science-minded citizens.

The target participants for the YES! program are rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders from communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers, mainly Latinos, African-Americans, and females from all backgrounds. Recruitment targets schools in low-performing districts, such as DC Public Schools, and through community organizations that provide services to the target populations. In 2016, YES! will serve 20-30 D.C .-area high school students as direct program participants, approximately 700 museum visitors, and 3,000 youth globally through the YES! Reach 100 initiative.

Q?Crew Teen Volunteers

The Q?Crew is a corps of teen volunteers ages 14 to 19, whose purpose is to use communication and technology to engage with youth audiences visiting Q?rius, an exhibit-sized interactive space designed for young people to discover their personal connection to science and the natural world.

Volunteers receive extensive training that introduces them to museum scientists, takes them behind-the-scenes, and covers topics ranging from museum education to scientific content related to Q?rius activities and programs. After completing training, participants will be able to work towards their 100 hour volunteer service requirement in Q?rius.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the summer internship, the Youth Programs interns will be better able to:

  • Understand best practices of informal education methodologies.
  • Assist with museum programming and interact with a wide variety of museum audiences.
  • Work with teen audiences from diverse communities.

Understand and execute the evaluation process for Youth Programs and activities in Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

The intern will assist in implementing NMNH Youth Programs curriculum by doing the following tasks:

  • Work alongside Youth Programs staff on a daily basis to assist with program management, facilitation, logistics, and evaluation.
  • Engage with and assist visitors of all ages in Q?rius.
  • Help organize and facilitate enrichment opportunities and field trips for youth to other Smithsonian Institutions.
  • Help organize and facilitate training sessions.
  • Help organize and facilitate regular check-ins, assessments and evaluation of youth programs participants to help evaluate their progress.
  • Assist NMNH Youth Programs staff with the documentation of youth programs.
  • Attend any necessary professional development sessions and ongoing youth program meetings as needed.
  • Perform adjusted or additional duties, as needed.


  • Undergraduate or graduate student who has completed or is currently enrolled in coursework related to museum studies, museum education or general education.
  • A degree or coursework in the natural sciences or anthropology is desired.
  • Enthusiasm for working with teens.
  • Experience and proven ability to work with large groups in a fast paced program.
  • Detail oriented with excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Strong verbal, written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • An eagerness to learn and the flexibility to work in a large institution.
  • Must be able to work evenings and weekends, as needed.
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office products.
  • Experience with graphic design, photography, and photo management is an asset.
  • Knowledge of youth development strategies and prior experience in a mentoring role is an asset.
  • Bilingual preferred.

How to Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, one Letter of Recommendation and a college transcript (unofficial are accepted) to:

Attn: Youth Programs

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

Office of Education & Outreach

PO Box 37012, MRC 158

Washington DC, 20013

or email packet to: youthnmnh@si.edu with “PROGRAM ASSISTANT INTERN” as the subject.

Due to the high number of applicants, we are unable to send confirmation of receipt of application packet. Qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview.

Schedule Commitment: Interns must be available to start mid- to late-May and work until mid- to late-August 2017. Interns will work 15-30 hours per week, and hours may change to reflect summer programming staffing needs.

Application deadline: April 7, 2017

Contact: Dawn Quill, YES Coordinator, email: quilld@si.edu, phone: 202-633-1095