Events & Programs
Lead Science Educators in Training
Lead Science Educators in Training learn valuable skills while helping with our camps.
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. LSET volunteers gain leadership experience, career exploration opportunities, service learning verification and more. LSET volunteers, in turn, provide valuable help to campers and camp educators throughout the summer. We are seeking volunteers for all locations around the Puget Sound region: Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Medina, Bothell, Kirkland, Mountlake Terrace and West Seattle.
How to Become a Lead Science Educator in Training
Applicants must be age 16 or older and must have already completed at least one year of being an SET.
Applications will be available on our website on January 2, 2018 and will be open until February 25, 2018. No late applications will be accepted.
A pool of candidates will move to the next round of the selection process and will be contacted to attend a group interview. The group interview will be held at Pacific Science Center on Tuesday, March 27 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
All selected LSETs will be required to attend one mandatory training session on Saturday, May 12, 1-5 p.m. Applicants that fail to participate in the training will be disqualified from the program.
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 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.
About the Program
Lead Science Educators in Training volunteer with Camps for Curious Minds through Pacific Science Center. Volunteers work with camps for a minimum of 60 hours over the summer. Hours can be earned over the summer by helping the teachers in a classroom setting, or by interacting with kids in a free-play after-camp setting. Once these 60 hours are completed, volunteers will receive passes to our Science Center exhibits, IMAX movies and more.
Camps are divided by grade and cover a wide variety of STEM-based themes. Camp shifts run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Your day may be 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 one to two volunteers working with three paid staff and up to 20 campers. Volunteering in camps, a LSET will assist teachers with classroom management, prep and clear activities, and lend a helping hand wherever needed.
After-camp is offered in every location and runs from 3-6 p.m. Volunteering in after-camp, a LSET will assist after-camp teachers with set-up and clean-up of the space, help run games, and keep campers engaged in free-play activities.
Qualifications, Expectations & Benefits
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 an 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 LSETs.
- Attend one mandatory training on May 12
- 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
- Assist with getting campers into the van and fastening seatbelts
- Be a good role model for other SETs
- Assist teachers with ratio and be ready to assist teachers in case of an emergency
- 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
- Move up in the organization to other paid opportunities
- Gain access to year-round volunteering opportunities in our Weekend Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to attend the mandatory training to participate?
We unfortunately do not have the staffing capacity to offer alternative training dates. Because of this, the training is required. LSETs must commit to attend both trainings 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 two camps?
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 LSET due to the number of applications we receive. We will carefully review each application and reference letter to invite prospective LSETs that we feel exhibit strong leadership qualities and an enthusiasm for science education.
What is a typical day for a SET?
Fun! Each day is a little different, but LSET members 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 seatbelts; and, of course, learning about the science topic featured in the camp you are volunteering with.
What is the age and grade requirement?
LSET volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Also, volunteers must 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 and environmental educators as mentors; and verification of service hours.
Is there room to grow from an LSET?
Yes! We will be opening up the LSET position to continue throughout the school year to help with our weekend programs (Birthday Parties, Parents’ Night Out, Girls Night Out, Family Science Fun). Please check back with us this summer when we will have more details on the school year program. Additionally, LSETs will gain experience and knowledge for a kick start into our Summer Camps program as an Aide or Assistant Teacher!
Who can I contact if I have questions?
We prefer that LSET applicants contact us rather than parents or guardians, as this demonstrates skills we are looking for. Please send emails to Jduffy@pacsci.org.