Smithsonian Science Education Center
Internship Program

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) works to improve the teaching and learning of science for K-12 students throughout the United States, and ultimately, throughout the world. It develops innovative new curriculum, conducts Summer Science Academies for Teachers at the Smithsonian museums and labs, and fosters science education leadership among school and community leaders.

We encourage you to read through our website and learn more about us before you apply. The SSEC is not a physical laboratory and we do not provide any scientific research or museum education internships.

Frequently Asked Questions about SSEC internships.

Eligibility for Internships

As there are a wide range of opportunities for learning, SSEC accepts applications from students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs, as well as high school students (at least 16 years old). The SSEC is actively seeking a diverse applicant pool. Paid internships for college students provide a stipend for the 10-week period, which is flexible on start/end dates. High school internships are unpaid. All interns must successfully complete a Federal background check before their internship begins. We are located in a Federal office building which is handicap accessible.

Application Deadline

Applications must be completed online no later than Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Your application must include:

1. Resume or CV

2. Writing Sample

3. Three references from supervisors, teachers, or professors who have observed you in the classroom or workplace.

Application and Selection Process

To apply, go to the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA). You will create an account at this site. After you have created an account, you can begin your application and select your first, second and third choice of program areas of your interest (see program descriptions below). Your application will be automatically submitted from the SOLAA site to SSEC for consideration.Do not send any application materials directly to SSEC!

Your application will be reviewed by the staff at SSEC. You can view your application status in SOLAA at any time. After complete applications have been reviewed, only selected candidates will be contacted by telephone for a phone interview. Please submit your best work for a complete application!

Science Education Program Areas for Interns

1. Professional Services Division

2. Publications Division

3. Finance & Administration Division

Typical Assignments for Interns at SSEC:

Professional Services Divisions

The Professional Services Division of the SSEC work to transform science education by building partnerships with community stakeholders and assisting regions, districts, and schools as they plan for and implement comprehensive inquiry-based science programs. These divisions design and implement courses for K-12 science teachers and teacher leaders, and engage educators at all levels from classroom teachers to superintendents, as well as academic institutions, corporations, and foundations. Student interns will learn by participating with the Professional Services staff to:

• Prepare materials for workshops, institutes and events

• Organize courses for teachers at Smithsonian Institution museums

• Attend and facilitate courses, institutes and events

• Conduct online research

• Research and assist with grant writing

• Prepare mailings and marketing materials

Experience in science, science education, or teaching would be an advantage. Interest in science is essential. Internet and Microsoft Office skills required, as well as a willing to perform a wide range of tasks.

Sample Summer Opportunities (May–September; Students must intern for 10 weeks):

• Assist with the revision and updating of materials for professional and leadership development events promoting science education reform

• Attend and assist with the facilitation of Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs)

• Assist in the planning of logistics for upcoming events

• Research new resources (articles, books, reports, etc.) in science education

• Organize and assemble participant materials for events

• Interact with teachers to provide course information

• Attend and provide on-site support as needed at local events and events across the country (for age 18+ only)

• Digitize and analyze participant evaluations from summer programming

• Other opportunities as they arise


Publications Division

The Publications Division produces and maintains high-quality, educational materials that include Science and Technology Concepts™ (STC™) science curriculum units in the life, earth, and physical sciences for grades K-12 and a series of science reading resources, STC Literacy Series™, that complement our STC Program™. We also develop, update, and maintain the SSEC website, and new digital initiatives. Interns can learn by assisting in our efforts to:

• Write, edit, perform photo research, and/or create databases to track development and revision of our educational materials

• Assist in work on the website, including development of new web components

• Aid in digital asset management of photos and documents

• Perform image and document scanning, cataloging, and metadata assignments

• Promote SSEC through social media

• Author blog posts about inquiry and science education

• Write lessons plans or teaching strategies to be shared on our newly launched website

• Conduct computer-assisted drafting of 3D models that could be used in science education (fossils, animals, airplanes, etc.,)

Experience working in an IT environment, writing, editing, proofreading, conducting photo research, computer-assisted drafting, blogging/ journalism and/or working with spreadsheets and databases is helpful, but not required.

Sample Summer Opportunities (May–September; Students must intern for 10 weeks):

• Photo research

• Media research on Smithsonian resources to be used in new and revised curriculum units

• Research on best practices in science education

• Research standards related to next-generation science

• Contribute original lesson plans or teaching strategies to SSEC blog

• Author blog posts of interest in STEM education

• Use CAD software to design 3D models useful in science education

• Do curriculum development and revision (write, edit, and proofread as part of a team of writers, editors, education specialists and scientists.)


Finance & Administration Division

Interested in learning more about the business of science education? The right hand of the Executive Office is the Finance & Administration Division.

Sample Summer Opportunities (May–September; Students must intern for 10 weeks):

• Format budgets in Excel

• Track budget expenditures

• Research potential donors for core operations development proposals

• Organize accountable property documentation

• Organize and perform contract file maintenance

• Perform document archiving

Microsoft Word and Excel are helpful skills. Business majors with excellent organizational skills are encouraged to apply.


Frequently Asked Questions about SSEC internships.

For questions about SSEC internship opportunities, please contact Angela Pritchett, Internship Coordinator, at 202-633-2284 or

Internship Class of 2014


What our Interns are Saying...

"I have a new perspective of education in America and the integral part science has in it. This experience has also taught me about everything from finance to policy."

"With confidence I gained while working here, I feel like I can take on more than I ever thought I would before this internship."

"I am lucky that I was provided the opportunity to see the Smithsonian behind the scenes and in a professional manner. I would definitely recommend this internship to others!"

"I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow here. I could not have asked for a better experience."

"I am grateful to have learned so much here as an intern. I feel that this experience will aid my future job assignments."