Events & Programs

Science Educators in Training

Camps for Curious Minds have operated for over 30 years, providing high school volunteers ages 14 and up with rich science and nature based learning opportunities.

Science Educators in Training (SET) volunteers gain leadership experience, career exploration opportunities, service learning verification and more. SET volunteers, in turn, provide valuable help to campers and camp educators throughout the summer. Once you have volunteered as a SET for at least one summer, you are eligible to become a Lead Science Educator in Training (LSET).

LSET volunteers take on a greater leadership role in the classroom, and help camps Educators lead games and activities. In return, LSETs gain greater leadership experience, career exploration opportunities, service learning verification and more.

We are seeking volunteers for all locations around the Puget Sound region: Seattle, Bellevue, Medina, Bothell, and more. Questions? Email camps@pacsci.org or call (206) 443-3628.

Become a Science Educator in Training

How to Become a SET

Applications

The application period is now closed. Applications were available on our website on December 27, 2019 and were open until February 29, 2020. No late applications are accepted.

Group Interview

Qualified candidates will be contacted to attend a group interview. Group interviews will be held in March on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 10: 6:15-7:45 p.m. at Pacific Science Center
  • Saturday, March 14: 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Pacific Science Center
  • Saturday, March 14: 1:30-3 p.m. at Pacific Science Center
  • Wednesday, March 18: 6:15-7:45 p.m. at Pacific Science Center
  • Thursday, March 19: 6:15-7:45 p.m. at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center
  • Saturday, March 21: 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center
  • Tuesday, March 24: 6:15-7:45 p.m. at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center
  • Sunday, March 29: 1:30-3 p.m. at Pacific Science Center

Training

All selected SET volunteers will be required to attend one mandatory training session in May. Applicants may choose between the two provided training sessions. Applicants that fail to participate in the training will be disqualified from the program, including returning volunteers. Trainings are scheduled to take place on:

  • Saturday, May 16: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Pacific Science Center
  • Sunday, May 31: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center

Although not required, SETs who will be volunteering at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center are strongly encouraged to attend a half-day canoe training in June. This is an opportunity to learn steering techniques and safety procedures. Those who do not attend the training will not be able to canoe with camps during the summer.

SET Qualifications, Expectations & Benefits

Requirements

To apply to be a Science Educator in Training you must be at least age 14 by the first training day AND starting high school in the fall.

Those who are entering high school in the fall, but are not at least age 14 by the first day of training will not be allowed in the program and are encouraged to apply for our other volunteer opportunities.

SETs must be age 16 or older if they wish to volunteer with camps for grades 6-8.

We are looking for teens who exhibit strong communication and leadership skills, have an interest in science and the natural world, are motivated to work with young children and are a positive role model.

SET Expectations

  • Attend a mandatory training day in the spring
  • Commit to volunteer for at least 60 hours
  • Be at camp on time, Monday – Friday, as scheduled
  • Be a positive role model for campers
  • Exhibit sound judgment and act in a responsible and safe manner
  • Communicate with staff about any problems or frustrations
  • Follow all Pacific Science Center procedures and regulations
  • Be proactive in assisting camp staff
  • Help keep a group of campers together

SET Benefits

  • Gain experience working with children
  • Explore career opportunities
  • Earn valuable leadership and job skills
  • Receive passes to Pacific Science Center
  • Work with professional science and environmental educators as mentors
  • Complete volunteer service to the community
  • Verification of service hours
  • Gain references

 

Become a Lead Science Educator in Training

How to Become a LSET

Applications

The application period is now closed. Applications were available on our website on December 27, 2019 and were open until February 29, 2020. No late applications are accepted. 

Group Interview

Qualified candidates will be contacted to attend a group interview. Group interviews will be held in March and April on the following dates:

  • Saturday, March 21: 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center
  • Sunday, March 29: 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Pacific Science Center
  • Wednesday, April 1: 6:15-7:45 p.m. at Pacific Science Center

If you are not selected for the LSET program you may still be offered a position in our Science Educator in Training (SET) program.

Training

All selected LSETs will be required to attend one mandatory training session in May. Failure to participate in training will result in disqualification from the program. Training will take place on Saturday, May 30, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Pacific Science Center.

Although not required, LSETs who will be volunteering at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center are strongly encouraged to attend a half-day canoe training in late spring. This is an opportunity to learn steering techniques and safety procedures. Those who do not attend the training will not be able to canoe with camps during the summer.

LSET Qualifications, Expectations & Benefits

Requirements

To apply to be a Lead Science Educator in Training, you must be at least age 16 by the first training day and have completed at least one year of being a SET.

We are looking for LSETs who exhibited strong communication and leadership skills, have an interest in science and the natural world, are motivated to work with young children and are a positive role model for other SETs.

LSET Expectations

  • Attend mandatory training
  • Commit to volunteer for at least 75 hours
  • Arrive on time for scheduled shifts
  • Be a positive role model for campers and peers
  • Exhibit sound judgment and act in a responsible and safe manner
  • Communicate with staff about any problems or concerns
  • Follow all Pacific Science Center procedures and regulations
  • Assist camp staff with classroom management

LSET Benefits

  • Gain experience working with children
  • Explore career opportunities
  • Earn valuable leadership and job skills
  • Receive passes to Pacific Science Center
  • Work with professional science and environmental educators as mentors
  • Complete volunteer service to the community
  • Verification of service hours
  • Gain references

 

Additional Information

About the Program

Hours

LSETs and SETs volunteer with Camps for Curious Minds through Pacific Science Center.

SETs work with camps for a minimum of 60 hours over the summer. Hours can be earned by helping the teachers in a classroom setting, or by interacting with campers in extended day. Once these 60 hours are completed, volunteers will receive passes to our Science Center exhibits, IMAX movies and more.

LSETs work with camps for a minimum of 75 hours over the summer. Hours can be earned by assisting teachers in leading daytime activities or by interacting with campers in an after-camp setting. Once these 75 hours are completed, volunteers will receive passes to Science Center exhibits, IMAX movies and more.

In-Camp Volunteer

Camps are divided by grade and cover a wide variety of STEM-based themes. Two camp shifts are available depending on your availability. Your day maybe longer if you are working with a road trip camp or your camp has a field trip that day, if you choose to go on the trip. Most camps have 1-2 volunteers working with 3 paid staff and up to 20 campers.

Volunteering in camps, a SET will assist teachers with classroom management, prep and clear activities, and lend a helping hand wherever needed.

In-camp LSETs are often asked to assume a leadership role in the classroom. They assist teachers with various tasks, including classroom management, activity implementation and supply organization.

Extended Day Volunteer

Extended day is offered at every location and runs from 3 – 6 p.m.  As a volunteer you can expect your shift to be 3 – 6 p.m.

Volunteering in after-camp, LSETs and SETs assist after-camp teachers with set-up and clean-up of the space, help run games, and keep campers engaged in free-play activities.

Throughout the shift, LSETs are expected to help supervise campers and engage them through free-play activities and games.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to attend the mandatory training to participate?

Yes. We unfortunately do not have the staffing capacity to offer alternative training dates. Because of this, the training is required.

LSETs and SETs must commit to attend training for the full duration. In the event you are unable to attend the training, please consider applying to our other volunteer opportunities.

Can I volunteer for more than 60 hours?

Absolutely! You will have the opportunity to fill out your preferred summer schedule where you can share with us how many weeks you would like to be scheduled for.

What is the selection process?

We are not able to interview every prospective SET and LSET due to the number of applications we receive. We will carefully review each application and reference letter to invite prospective SETs and LSETs that we feel exhibit strong leadership qualities and an enthusiasm for science education.

What kind of uniform are the teens expected to wear?

SETs and LSETs wear the same uniform as our camp staff. You must wear solid colored bottoms that are no greater than 2 inches above the knee and a camp t-shirt. A camp t-shirt will be provided to you.

What is a typical day for a SET?

Fun! Each day is a little different, but SETs and LSETs can expect to lead songs or games with groups of campers; setup and cleanup of projects; read a story to campers; help keep a group of campers together; assist with getting campers into Science Center vans and fastening seat belts; and, of course, learning about the science topic featured in the camp you are volunteering with.

What is a typical day for an LSET?

Fun! Each day is a little different, but LSETs can expect to lead songs or games with groups of campers, set up and clean up projects, lead activities and story time, gain experience in classroom management, ensure the safety of all campers and, of course, learn about the science topic featured in camp.

What is the age and grade requirement?

SETs must be at least 14 years old. Also, volunteers must be a high school student by fall.

LSETs must be at least 16 years old and have spent one summer with us as an SET.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Aside from having fun, there are a lot of great benefits. These include gaining experience working with children and exploring career opportunities; earning valuable leadership and job skills; passes to Pacific Science Center at the end of summer; working with professional science educators as mentors; and verification of service hours.

LSETs also develop important leaderships skills that can be applied to other positions, including paid positions at Pacific Science Center. In the fall, LSETs have access to free workshops on topics like SAT prep, resume writing and professional development.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

We prefer that SET and LSET applicants contact us rather than parents or guardians, as this demonstrates skills we are looking for. Please send emails to camps@pacsci.org.

 

Sign Up for Teen Program Updates

 

 

Girl with flowers in her hair using a microscope

X