Age Minimum (with Adult): 18+, Minimum Age:18+
VLM Internships are primarily designated for students enrolled in college or program of academic study. Candidates not enrolled in college will be considered on a case by case basis and must follow all guidelines and term lengths.
Name of Internship: Astronomy Intern
Summary of Internship: Depending on availability, interns will be responsible for operation of the planetarium for public programming including live shows, planetarium school programming for grades K – 12, operation of the Abbitt Observatory using telescopes to allow the public to view the Sun, as well as assisting with other duties as assigned by the Astronomy Manager.
Length of Internship: This internship can accommodate one or two semesters, or summer. Please note that summer interns will be asked to choose an area of focus: Planetarium Presentation, Observatory Operation, or Summer Camp Instruction. Summer Interns will still be given the opportunity to cross-train on all areas but will be expected to devote the majority of their time to one area.
Application deadline for the fall semester is August 1 and the spring semester is December 1. Application deadline for summer internships is May 1 for best consideration. No transcript required, but application must include a resume and cover letter. Up to two interns will be accepted for each school semester and up to three during the summer. Applicants may be asked to interview with both Volunteer Services and the Astronomy Manager.
Number of hours required weekly: minimum 2 days per week; hours can be flexible to accommodate academic schedules. During the summer, minimum is 3 days per week; Summer Camp Instruction Intern must be able to come 5 days a week during weeks of Camp.
Qualifications for this Internship: Interest in astronomy, outgoing personality, interest in either formal or informal education, willingness to learn, strongly self-motivated.
Experience: The intern can expect to gain the following experience in this internship:
- Public Speaking/Performance
- Operation of planetarium instrumentation
- Operation of telescopes
- Basics of Teaching/Curriculum Development
Duties – The intern will engage in the following tasks:
- Operation of planetarium for general public, including live shows
- Operation of telescopes at the Abbitt Observatory for public viewing of the Sun
- Assist with development and teaching of Summer Camps (as available)
- Operation of telescopes for evening events (as available)
- Assist with development of special programming (as available)
Projects – Example Intern projects could include but are not limited to the list below. Interns will arrange a project with the Astronomy Manager upon acceptance in the program.
- Research, design and construct a device to allow for simple cell phone astrophotography using our telescopes.
- Research and write a script for a planetarium program on a specified topic
- Create original artwork and animations for a specific planetarium program
- Research and develop new summer camp curriculum
- Develop a program of use and create astronomical images using our telescope and CCD camera
- Film and edit full dome image sequences for a specific planetarium program
- Create and program laser animation sequences for a specific planetarium program
Expectations of Interns:
- School-year interns must work at the museum a minimum of 2 days per week; Summer interns a minimum of 3 days per week with 5 days a week preferred (scheduling is flexible based on summer plans)
- Follow schedule as set by Astronomy Manager, report any needed changes early to allow for coverage
- Compliance with museum regulations and dress code
- Enthusiastic performance of public programming, providing excellent guest experience
- Willingness to try new ideas and suggest improvements on existing ideas to Astronomy Manager
Evaluation – Interns will be evaluated at the mid-point and conclusion of the internship using the museum’s Intern evaluation tool, and as needed by outside agencies (school, etc.). Arrangements can be made for an ongoing basis as desired by the intern and the Astronomy Manager.
Interns will be evaluated on judgement, enthusiasm, responsibility, initiative, consideration, personal adjustment, appearance, attendance, leadership, organization, general skills, professional attitude, student project evaluation, and overall job performance.
Feedback: Feedback may be provided by the intern to the Astronomy Manager at any time, or may be provided to Volunteer Services at the conclusion of the internship.
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