Volunteer Opportunity with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is recruiting volunteers (called Ambassadors) to work with museum visitors in Spark!Lab, its hands-on invention space for children and families. Unlike traditional classroom-style learning, Spark!Lab is very “curiosity-driven” and there is no right or wrong way to complete the activities, just challenges and prompts to get them thinking like an inventor. We focus on skills-based and inquiry-based learning techniques and applying the experience to real life examples and problems.

Spark!Lab Ambassadors will play an active role in:

  • Facilitating Meaningful Visitor Experiences: welcoming a diverse group of visitors and engaging in inquiry-based discovery at a variety of hands-on activity stations; using creative methods to inspire and encourage children’s and family’s interest in the invention process.
  • Assisting daily facility operations in Spark!Lab: getting the space and hands on activities ready for visitor use; helping with some routine maintenance necessary to keep the innovation and imagination flowing!

If you are good at and enjoy:

  • tinkering, experimenting, asking questions, constructing and deconstructing things to figure out how they work
  • interacting with diverse audiences, age groups and learning styles
  • working in an often busy and changing environment

If you have:

  • some experience working in a hands-on, informal education space
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • an interest in invention, history and science

If you are able to:

  • commit to at least two 4-hour shifts a month, (weekends and holidays available)
  • handle frequent walking, standing, bending and lifting

…Then please request an application from Laurel Miller, Interpretive Exhibit Manager at MillerL@si.edu or 202.633.7304.

  • Applicants must be 17 years or older.
  • One full-day orientation training
  • 8 hours (two 4-hour shifts) of shadowing a staff member or experienced volunteer on the floor
  • Completing a background check and obtaining a Smithsonian ID badge
  • A commitment of 8 hours per month (two 4-hour shifts, or one full day) of volunteering, based on your schedule and availability.

The next training session begins Saturday, September 17, 2016. For more information please visit www.invention.si.edu or contact Laurel.

The Smithsonian is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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