The Youth Development Initiative strives to develop and implement successful
internships opportunities that provide students with the skills and experiences needed
to obtain and maintain employment. These internships utilize a combination of formal
instruction, mentoring, hands-on STEM experience, project based learning, and
continuous feedback. It is the Science Center’s vision to continue growing this program
into a gateway experience to internships and potential employment with local
companies with a focus on underrepresented populations. The Science Center’s Youth Development Initiative includes an extensive variety of internships and leadership programs for high school and college-aged youth. Since 2015, the Science Center has engaged over 300 interns through youth development programs in the community and at the Lab. For important questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Science Center operates internship and leadership programs throughout the year:
The STEM Youth Development Internship is available to high school students ages 16+ who have a passion for STEM learning. They will be able to develop and practice professional skills at the Children's Science Center Lab while engaging in various hands-on activities. Candidates must be underrepresented in STEM (see application for more details). Applications are due by 5:00 pm on December 2, 2022.
The Children’s Science Center Lab’s Youth Advisory Board is made up of Northern Virginia high school students who volunteer, collaborate, and create programs that contribute to the Children's Science Center's goal of inspiring a love of STEM. All members serve a two-year term. Each member contributes approximately 6 to 10 hours per month attending Board and team meetings, developing projects for the Children's Science Center, volunteering at the Lab on weekends and during school breaks, and participating in community events. The application opens in the winter each year, and rising freshmen through rising junior high school students are eligible to apply.
The STEM Camp Internship is available to students ages 16+ who have an interest in STEM education. They will work closely with elementary aged students conducting hands-on STEM activities. Interns will also have the opportunity to develop their own STEM programming for camp students.
Latina SciGirls (LSG), the PBS-designed program, showcases STEM learning in Latinas through the incorporation of hands-on activities, multi-media tools, and exposure to accomplished Latina STEM mentors. Over the course of nine weeks, thirty participants in grades 3-6 from a Northern Virginia elementary school will convene to investigate STEM topics ranging from recycling to animal habitats to forensic science. The LSG Interns will work alongside lab staff interacting with LSG participants, facilitating experiments, and leading groups and individuals through explorations of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics concepts. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on December 16, 2022.
The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CC) Internship was created to expand the cybersecurity talent pipeline by reaching high school students who are 17+ and interested in exploring cyber security as a possible career option. The internship includes professional skills training and placement with Northern Virginia cyber-related organizations to prepare them to enter the cyber workforce of the future. The internship includes a program stipend at the successful completion of the 7-week program and is open to rising high school seniors and rising first-year college/university students.
The Animal Husbandry Internship will provide a well-rounded experience for individuals actively pursuing a career in animal care and education. The internship will cover topics including best practices in animal welfare, zoonotic diseases, training, AZA/SSP information, USDA requirements, recording keeping, etc. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The mainstay out reach program is our unique FamilyScience Nights. These events travel to over 50 elementary schools each school year between September and May, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. At each event, the Center arrives in our Childsci VW van with 10-12 table-top, hands-on activities and transforms the school’s gym or cafeteria into a science center. We typically serve between 200-400 families per event and need a minimum of 15 volunteers who work alongside our staff and the school’s team to make the event run smoothly.
The Center also participates in a robust calendar of regional out reach through out the year including appearances at STEM-themed festivals such as the Loudoun County STEM Day (Sept), the Maker Faire No Va at George Mason University (March), the STEM Symposium at the NySmith School (April), and the 2-day USA Science and Engineering Festival at the DC Convention Center (April). These weekend appearances are generally several hours in duration and the Center arrives with 2-4 table-top, hands-on activities. We need shifts of 4-6 volunteers every 2 hours to work along side our staff.
Youth between the ages of 13 and 15 are welcome to volunteer with an engaged adult at the Lab or at weekend community events. Both the youth and adult are expected to maintain a Volunteer Matters profile and sign up for the same shift. Each member of the volunteer pair is expected to stay for the entire shift and work as a team at the activity to which they are assigned. We request that each volunteer attend one training session each year (this does not have to happen prior to volunteering for the first time). For community programs, volunteers will receive an instruction packet detailing the logistics for the event, information about the activity to which they were assigned, and emergency contact numbers for event organizers. At the Lab, parent and youth teams support behind the scenes operations including stocking experiment and activity supplies. Make sure that both parent and child fill out an application and sign up for the same shift!
Youth ages 16 and up are welcome to volunteer at the Lab and for Community Programs events like Family Science Night that occur throughout the region at locals schools and other weekend community events. We request that every volunteer provide their own transportation. We request that each volunteer attend one training session each year (this does not have to happen prior to volunteering for the first time). Volunteers will receive an instruction packet detailing the logistics for the event, information about the activity to which they were assigned, and emergency contact numbers for event organizers.
The Children’s Science Center Lab is looking for interns to support our School Break Day-Long Camps at the Lab! This fun opportunity is for those who are looking to earn qualifying academic credit or volunteer service hours. Anyone 16 years or over may apply by sending a cover letter detailing their interest and resume to email@example.com with“School Break STEM Intern” in the subject line. For more information: School Break STEM Camp Intern
This position will provide a well-rounded intern experience for those individuals who are actively pursuing a
career in animal husbandry. Interns will learn along side professional animal care staff while assisting with diet preparation and distribution, cleaning enclosures and holding areas, observations, and implementing
environmental enhancements and enrichment across the LAB’s ambassador collection. Interns will also have learning opportunities and responsibilities involving informal guest interactions and conservation education. The internship will also cover topics including best practices in animal welfare, zoonotic diseases, training, AZA/SSP information, USDA requirements, record keeping, and more. Animal Care Internship
If you’re 16-18 and looking to earn service hours for school or your service club, this shift is perfect for you. Join us at the Lab from 9:30– 11:30 AM on the weekends. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.