Teen Volunteers

Teen volunteer shows children an object

Teen volunteers help make The Field Museum's galleries come alive! Summer Teen Volunteers are trained to interact with visitors of all ages, spending half of their day in the Crown Family Playlab, The Field Museum’s early childhood center, and the other half of their day in the Museum’s exhibitions facilitating hands-on interpretive carts.  

What is the Crown Family PlayLab?

The Crown Family PlayLab starts with a child's innate curiosity, adds real artifacts and specimens, and encourages young explorers to discover the wonders of nature and learn about diverse cultures. Volunteers are trained to interact with young learners in an educational setting, staff various environments within this unique space, facilitate drop-in programming, and assist with space and artifact/specimen upkeep and general operating procedures. During work hours, volunteers will be standing, bending down, and sitting on the floor and on small chairs for extended periods of time.

What are Interpretive Carts?

Summer teen volunteers will be trained on three interpretive carts—hands-on activity stations showcasing real artifacts and specimens. Teens must demonstrate an ability to engage audiences, respectfully manage artifacts and specimens, and track visitor data.

What are the Qualifications for becoming a Teen Volunteer?

Volunteers should be outgoing, articulate, have the ability to think quickly on their feet, and enjoy learning about the world around them. Candidates should demonstrate a strong interest in the natural sciences and/or the field of early childhood education. Bilingual candidates are a plus. Teens must be current high school students at the time of application. Current 8th graders may apply to the Teen Volunteer Bridge Program

What is my Commitment as a Summer Teen Volunteer?

Summer Teen Volunteers are asked to commit a minimum of 8 days between June 14 and August 14, 2016. Available shifts are 9am-4pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Summer Teen Volunteers are not needed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Teens must successfully complete a minimum of 8 days during the course of the program in order to successfully complete the program and be eligible to apply for year-round volunteering.

How do I apply?

Teen Volunteer applications are closed for 2016, please check back in January for summer 2017.

Please note there is limited capacity for the program. Only top candidates will be selected for the program. In-person interviews will be scheduled with selected candidates on April 9 and 10, 2016. 

All teen volunteers must attend a mandatory training on May 21 and 22, 2016.

Questions? E-mail us at teens@fieldmuseum.org.

Also visit our Research, Scholarships and Grants page to learn about other opportunities for students to learn and work with Field Museum Scientists. You can also get involved with the Museum through our Internship Program.