Museum of Science Internships
  • 24-Mar-2021 to 18-Apr-2021 (EST)
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • 13.50
  • Hourly

Culturally Responsive Research & Evaluation, Summer Youth Intern

Museum of Science, Boston

Program Description:

The Research & Evaluation Department at the Museum of Science is one of the country's largest teams dedicated to studying how people learn about science in museums and other non-academic settings. Researchers and evaluators in the department apply social scientific processes to gather and use data that inform, improve, and assess the Museum's educational experiences, ranging from exhibits to programs to films to online learning and more. Throughout its work, the Department prioritizes culturally-responsiveness and accessibility for a wide range of people.

While the Interns will learn about many projects in the Research & Evaluation Department, the primary focus of this Internship will be the APPRAISE project. This project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a research effort designed to learn how museums can design exhibits that are welcoming, supportive, and valuable for girls, People of Color, and people with disabilities. Traditionally, guidelines about how to design exhibits for these audiences have often struggled to encompass the diversity of people within these groups (for example, not all girls like the same things!). APPRAISE is trying to understand how race, gender, ability, and other factors overlap to create rich, intersectional identities. APPRAISE also challenges a longstanding belief that emotions are un-scientific and opposed to rationality. Instead, we hypothesize that our initial feelings about an exhibit'whether we feel good or bad about it, or whether we think it's made for people like us, etc.'affect what we choose to do (and not do!) in museums. Overall, the APPRAISE team is looking to develop a research process that helps us better understand how identities, our emotional reactions to an exhibit, and the way an exhibit is designed influence how we engage with a museum.

Position Summary:

The Interns will become full members of the APPRAISE research team, which includes members of the Museum's Research and Evaluation Department as well as external partners from Harvard Graduate School of Education and EdTogether, a nonprofit research and development group. Each member of the team brings different skills, and it is expected that the Interns will complement the existing team members' expertise by contributing ongoing guidance about how to make a research experience that is suitable for people age 10-17. Over the course of the internship, the Interns will collaborate with other research team members to conduct one of the project's "mini-studies," and will be involved in all stages of the study including: 1) planning, 2) recruitment, 3) data collection (observation, interviews, surveys, and biometric data collection with approximately 10 youth age 10-17), 4) data analysis , 5) documenting findings, and 6) working with the team to revise the research process for the next mini-study. The Interns will also be involved in a range of professional development opportunities and, based on their Interest, may contribute to other projects in the Research and Evaluation Department.


  • Participate in regular team meetings and professional development sessions
  • With support from team members, complete a training module and gain an Institutional Review Board credential about research ethics
  • Review and critique research materials (surveys, interview questions, etc.)
  • Manage email communications to schedule research sessions with participants and gather consent forms from parents and guardians
  • Assist researchers in data collection, to include administering surveys, conducting interviews, taking observation notes, and gathering biometric data with galvanic skin response sensors
  • Collaborate with researchers to conduct qualitative and quantitative data analysis
  • Contribute to efforts to share research findings through written, oral, and/or other means

Basic Qualifications:

  • Currently between the ages of 14-19 and enrolled in high school or an equivalent educational program
  • Demonstrated interest in social science research and/or science education
  • Demonstrated interest in supporting environments that promote diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion
  • Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal)
  • Demonstrated ability to be motivated, dependable, and flexible
  • Attention to detail
  • Willingness to share critical feedback to adults

Special Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience interacting with people from a diverse range of racial and ethnic identities, genders, and abilities

Program Commitment:

  • Location: Roles will be either in-person only OR hybrid (a mix of in-person and remote). If the role requires any remote working hours, technology will be made available to summer youth interns.

  • Length of the youth internship program: 7-week program (between July 5 through August 22)
    • Orientation (paid hours) and Onboarding will be in late June - date TBD based on hired individuals' schedules

  • Shifts: All Summer Youth Internships are a commitment of three (3) full working days a week during the program (typically 21 paid working hours) Interns have a one-hour, unpaid lunch break each day. Candidates are only allowed to miss three (3) consecutive workdays during the program
    • 2 days - Department days (see internship description below)
    • 1 day - Personal and professional development day - THIS IS A FULL DAY ON WEDNESDAYS
      • This day can include leadership development and practice, workforce development skills, all-staff or departmental meetings.

Preferred Work Schedule:

  • Three (3) weekdays within a 9am-5pm schedule (full day shifts)


  • All summer youth internship positions pay $13.50/hour


  • Free admission and access to the Museum of Science's Exhibit halls and venues.
  • Discounts in our Museum store and cafe.
  • Reciprocity to other cultural institutions
  • Commuter-friendly location (our E-line stop is just across the street!)

The Museum of Science is fully committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and to attracting, retaining, developing and promoting the most qualified employees without regard to their race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by federal, state or local law. We are dedicated to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment, and where employees are treated with respect and dignity.

No phone inquiries, please. Qualified applicants will be contacted within two to four weeks of initial application.

Museum of Science Internships
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