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Cellphone Exhibit Program Design Internship

Join a dynamic team of museum educators to design and deliver education programming for an exciting new exhibition: Cellphone: Unseen Connections. The Office of Education and Outreach at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) seeks two Cellphone Exhibit Program Design interns to assist the lead exhibit educator in the design, testing, and implementation of in person, digital and hybrid programs that support the exhibit. Through this experience, the interns will learn valuable skills in onsite and online program design, community engagement, coordination, outreach, and facilitation. The interns will report to the Experience Design Manager (who is also the lead exhibit educator for Cellphone: Unseen Connections) and will be part of the Education and Outreach staff.

Cellphone Exhibit Program Overview

Opening in June 2023, Cellphone: Unseen Connections will provide NMNH with a unique opportunity to invite the public to see human technology, cultural diversity and human-environmental relationships in new ways. This exhibition will examine cellphones from an interdisciplinary perspective, leaning on Natural History’s scholarship in anthropology, mineral sciences, and environmental sciences, to tease out the different ways humans are intertwined with these objects personally and globally. 

Programming will use the Exhibit’s compelling stories about the intersections of ourselves, our environment, and our technology we’ve grown dependent on as a jumping off point for creating experiences that ask our audiences to reflect on their own values and technology use. We will offer multiple platforms and formats where they can contribute to a vision for what future tech could be and how they can help shape it. Both onsite and beyond the walls of the museum, we will draw on the innovative nature of cellphone technology to inspire audiences to think of themselves as creators, makers, and visionaries. And we will provide them tools--through interactions, workshops, debates, panels, forums, film screenings, and school programs--to understand the science and the industry and to see the challenges inherent in these as something they can help solve as they start to imagine new futures.

Three primary modes of program delivery are planned: onsite programming in the exhibit; featured programming after hours at the Museum and other DC-area venues; and distributed national/international curriculum, do-it-yourself exhibits, and program templates for use in schools, libraries, museums, community centers, and other learning venues.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the summer internship, the Cellphone Exhibit Program Design interns will have increased their:

  • Understanding of best practices of informal education program design, outreach and facilitation
  • Consideration of ways that technology that is inclusive could lead to a more connected, peaceful, sustainable and just future.
  • Understanding of how new tech builds on tech of the past, and that women, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ women, have played important roles in that evolution and have significant roles to play in its future.
  • Awareness of the connections between the functional components of cellphones and the mineral and other resources, labor, waste, and environmental impact required to manufacture them
  • Understanding of the role culture plays in our interaction with tools and that the diversity of our responses to technology is normal
  • Awareness of a broad range of museum careers and enhanced view of the museum field as a viable career track
  • Skill and confidence in communicating with diverse audiences, through social media and in-museum conversations

Intern Opportunities

In the year leading up to the opening of the exhibit, the program design team will be ideating and testing activities and program concepts. The interns will assist with design, testing and implementation of Cellphone Exhibit programs by doing the following:

  1. Work with the NMNH social media team to conceptualize social media strategy for the AWHI-Funded Women Reshaping Our World through Mobile Technology programs. Includes:
  • Attending program development meetings
  • Creating and implementing a plan to:
    • promote the program to target audience of 18-25 year olds
    • share relevant program and exhibit messages
    • prompt others to create and post relevant content
    • reflect on the effectiveness of the approaches to inform future strategies.
  1. Contribute to the design and testing of two school programs and up to four drop-in/cart programs that will be offered in the exhibit once it opens. Interns will:
  • Work with the exhibit team and curator to better understand the context for the activities
  • Attend program development meetings
  • Contribute to brainstorming sessions
  • Help design prototypes
  • Facilitate prototypes with visitors to learn what is working and not working
  • Apply what they learn to the design cycle
  • Attend professional development sessions, programs, meetings and workshops as desired.

Eligibility

The Office of Education, Outreach and Visitor Experience accepts current and recently graduated undergraduates or graduate students studying museum studies, museum education, general education, computer science, engineering, natural science, and other related fields. Ideal applicants will have: an enthusiasm for working with teens and young adults, eagerness to learn, an ability to work with diverse audiences, and strong communication and interpersonal skills. Knowledge of and/or experience with museum programming is an asset. Experience with graphic design, social media outreach and cellphone-based art creation (photography, video, etc.) also a plus.

Location 

Onsite at least one day a week at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC. Virtual all other times.

Department 

Office of Education, Outreach, and Visitor Experience and Office of Exhibitions

Stipend

$4000 each

Timeframe

Summer 2022

Commitment

200 hours (equivalent to 20 hrs/week for 10 weeks)

How to Apply

Please send a resume, one Letter of Recommendation, and a cover letter explaining your interests, qualifications, your learning objectives (what you hope to get out of such an internship), and summer availability to Colleen Popson at popsonc@si.edu, with “Cellphone Exhibit Program Design Intern” as the subject.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, March 14, 2022

Contact Information

Email Colleen Popson – Cellphone Exhibit Lead Educator -- at popsonc@si.edu.

Function
Education, Exhibits
Stipend
Paid
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