Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

Polliwog Preschool Internship Opportunity (unpaid)

Aug 23, 2017

Located on a biologically diverse 320-acre wetland nature park in the heart of urban Bellevue, WA, the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a collaboration between the City of Bellevue and Pacific Science Center. Polliwog Preschool is a Mercer Slough program for preschoolers (3-5 years old). At Polliwog Preschool we focus on developing the whole child–socially, emotionally, mentally and physically–while initiating them into a lifelong, meaningful relationship with the natural world. The program is play-based and student-driven with specific activities that relate to natural and emergent topics, and plenty of time for nature exploration. Activities are designed to address each child’s developmental needs while encouraging curiosity, fostering love of nature, and developing the whole child. You can learn more about the program at

With our low teacher to child ratio and ample outdoor exploration time, this position is ideal for student interns who seek opportunities to plan lessons, participate in documentation and assessment, and refine behavior management skills.

Our preschool operates from mid-September through early June. We have three cohorts: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-12, Tuesday and Thursday from 9-12, and Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4. Each cohort has 12 children and two lead teachers. We follow the Bellevue School District school break schedule.

Reports To: Mercer Slough Manager and Early Childhood Education Coordinator
Position Start Date: September 2017
Time Commitment: Minimum of 3 months (one academic quarter), 8-20 hours per week.


  • 8 hours per week: T/Th 8:30-12:30, or T/Th 12:30-4:30
  • 12 hours per week: MWF 8:30-12:30
  • 20 hours per week: M-F 8:30-12:30

Job Duties:

  • Early Childhood Education: Assist Polliwog Preschool Teachers in planning and providing learning experiences for preschool-age students, including interacting with students during free play times, modeling and reinforcing positive behaviors, and engaging students in investigations, imaginative play, and cooperative interactions with other students.
  • Environmental Education: Assist Polliwog Preschool Teachers in sharing the environment of the Mercer Slough Nature Park with students. Model “Leave No Trace” principles for students, demonstrate and support students’ appreciation for the natural world, and aid students in positively and safely interacting with the park’s flora and fauna.
  • Operational Support: Contribute to overall preschool operational functions by assisting Polliwog Preschool Teachers in greeting parents and students, safely moving the group from place to place, and ensuring that students are properly dressed for the weather conditions.


  • 18+ years old
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Ability to hike up to two miles over uneven terrain
  • Willingness to be outside up to two hours per day in all types of weather
  • Provide three references (one or more being a professional reference)
  • Commit to volunteering with at least one full cohort (MWF and/or T/Th), 4-20 hours per week for at least 3 months


  • Background in early childhood and/or environmental education
  • Previous experience at an environmental learning center, park, or preschool

Abilities and Personal Characteristics:

  • Desire to work with and inspire preschool-aged children from diverse backgrounds.
  • Enthusiasm for science, the environment, and education.
  • Excitement about going outside with children in all kinds of weather.
  • Courteous professional manner, pleasant disposition and service orientation.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and flexibility should difficult situations arise.
  • Excellent oral communication skills.
  • Ability to present oneself in a professional manner with regards to personal appearance and hygiene.

Benefits of this Internship:

  • Opportunity to earn college credit through your school
  • Experience developing daily and weekly plans in collaboration with preschool teachers
  • Experience fostering children’s social, emotional, and physical development, and promoting independence and respect
  • Access to resources such as curriculum guides and literature relevant to early childhood environmental education
  • Learn about Pacific Northwest native flora and fauna through direct experience

TO APPLY: Submit your resume and cover letter to with the subject “Polliwog Preschool Intern.”

Pacific Science Center

We are an independent, not-for-profit educational institution that ignites curiosity in every child and fuels a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in all of us.

Pacific Science Center is an equal-opportunity employer. We value diversity and it is expressed in all aspects, from the people and communities we serve to our organizational culture and our employees.