Youth Development Program

Build leadership skills while working closely with Museum professionals

As part of our Youth Development Program, students gain real world knowledge about early childhood, science, education and the non-profit industry while taking on important responsibilities within our Museums.

The program focuses on four key developmental areas for future leaders:

  • Embrace diversity while working with audiences from varying backgrounds.
  • Discover what it takes to work together and what can be accomplished when working as a team.
  • Experience the opportunity to speak in a public forum and lead presentations.
  • Enhance the ability to interact with others.

In addition, Discovery Place supports teen volunteers in their future academic and career aspirations by providing personal development opportunities including:

  • Level Up, a discussion, demonstration and experimentation series that will expose students to a variety of STEM professions. This series connects the real world to Museum work and provides opportunities to hone STEM knowledge and skills. Level Up presenters will represent the diversity of the Charlotte STEM community.
  • Career College Sequence for high school students, covering topics such as college applications, résumé building, STEM job searches, interviewing skills, public speaking and networking.
  • Regular performance reviews to identify strengths and opportunities for growth.
  • Paid compensation, on a limited basis, for high school students in the STEM Ambassador program.

Youth Development Program participants who complete at least 70 hours of volunteer work will receive a Family Membership to all Museums valued at $200.00.

Applicants for the Apprentice level will be chosen based on a completed application, reference letters and an interview. Students must submit their application and provide two reference letters from their current school during the application window.

Applications for our 2018 fall program closed on Saturday, September 14. Check back soon to see details for our next program!

Youth Development Program Tiers

  • APPRENTICE (ages 13 - 17)
    Apprentices gain experience in customer service and learn how to engage the public in floor and lab programming, random acts of science, rainforest and aquarium interpretation. Apprentices must complete 70 hours of service over a maximum of six months. Summer and school year sessions are available at Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature and Discovery Place Kids.
  • STEM INTERN (Grades 9 - 12)
    High school students who complete their Apprenticeship in good standing may apply to become a STEM Intern. Interns receive training in science content and informal science education in order to co-facilitate special programs, including family workshops and events, Summer Camps, early childhood programs and Birthday Parties, and support school groups who participate in classes while on field trips. Interns are required to complete 100 service hours over a maximum of nine months. STEM Intern positions are currently available at Discovery Place Science only.
  • STEM AMBASSADOR (Grades 10 - 12)
    After completing the minimum requirements and demonstrating overall mastery of responsibilities, Interns will be invited to apply for a STEM Ambassador position. Ambassadors gain access to behind-the-scenes experiences with the Collections (living collections as well as natural history specimens and cultural objects) and Exhibits teams and earn opportunities to research, design and lead programming for the public with support from a Discovery Place mentor. Ambassadors will commit to completing a research-based Museum project and a minimum of 250 hours of service over a maximum of 12 months. STEM Ambassador positions are currently available at Discovery Place Science only.
  • Volunteer K - Age 17