Join over 500 volunteers who team up with Museum employees to bring science to life every day!
Guest-Facing Volunteer Teams
Share with guests your first-hand experience about life on a real submarine. What is it like living on a sub? Do men and women still live on submarines? Facilitators provide interactive and educational-based material to guests by using exhibit interactive and displays. Many retired submariners facilitate this exhibit!
Imagine handing someone a piece of a historical war memorial. U-505 cartifacts volunteers lead a cart presentation designed to explain the history and uses of artifacts found onboard the submarine. These artifacts include a sonar sensor, a firearm magazine, a torpedo gyroscope and the binoculars from the conning tower.
Great Train Story Team
Where in Chicago can you still see Cows on Parade? The Great Train Story, of course. Volunteers escort guests on a trip from downtown Chicago to Seattle, Washington and explain the differences in past and present rail cars. The Great Train Story is a HO-scale model exhibit which contains 34 running trains, 1400 feet of track, and more than 500 scale structures and custom-made buildings. Volunteers are provided resources and materials to lead informal mini-tours, challenge guests to “spy” numerous scenes such as the Presidential motorcade, cows on parade, forest elves, and more!
Science Connections Team
Science Connection facilitators incorporate hands-on activities to connect the science found throughout our exhibits. You'll introduce Museum guests to specific concepts in a fun, engaging and entertaining way through 5-10 minute interactive activities. A science or teaching background is helpful but not required. An interest is science is necessary. This program requires additional training and a volunteer time commitment of one year. Science Connections topic units include: Genetics, Microscopy, Flight, Science Storms, Human Body and Submarine. Begin your training by selecting one unit.
Science Storms Team
Volunteers will facilitate in the Billion Color Booth in the Science Storms exhibit. The Billion Color Booth teaches guests how the colors of light are absorbed or reflect off each object we see. In addition, each volunteer will spend time leading facilitation on the Science Storms trivia wheel, which allows guests the chance to share their knowledge of everything from avalanches to atoms and all things physics and fun! Interested volunteers should have previous experience working with kids ages 8-13, be extremely high-energy with a voice that can carry, and be able to stand for long periods of time. Volunteers should be able to commit to volunteering in Science Storms a minimum of twice a month for a total of 40 hours per year.
YOU! The Experience Team
One of the keys to improving health and longevity is the ever-advancing field of medicine. The Medical Innovations section of YOU! The Experience showcases some of the latest breakthroughs, celebrates the innovative thinking that will shape our future care, and sparks some thought-provoking dialogue about the role of medical technology in our lives. Volunteers in the YOU! The Experience exhibit engage our guests in discussions about the human body (organs, muscles, nervous system, and more!) A medical background is helpful, but not required.
A la Cart Team
The a la Cart program gives our guests a peek inside the Museum’s collections artifacts. This unique activity cart promotes critical thinking as guests examine objects from our collection and determine what they are and how they were used. This is a great volunteer opportunity for history gurus.
Do you love working in a classroom setting? Each week during the school year, student groups experience the thrill of scientific discovery in the Museum’s Learning Labs. Led by a Museum educator, labs are focused, hands-on, multidisciplinary programs for school groups that align with Illinois Learning Standards in science. Volunteers assist Museum educators by helping students answer questions and complete Lab activities. Experience in teaching is helpful; a passion for education is required!
Administrative Volunteer Programs
Are you friendly, outgoing and enjoy meeting people? Volunteer one day per week to assist volunteer administrators, volunteers and team captains. Duties will include greeting, filing, mailing, data entry, copying and phone calls. Intermediate knowledge of the latest version of Microsoft Office Suite is a must, as is being adaptable to new data systems. If you have good communication skills, are organized and detail-oriented, please apply for this great weekly volunteer opportunity.
Evaluation and Research Volunteer Assistant
The Evaluation & Research team works with a variety of departments throughout the Museum, including exhibits, teacher professional development, and community initiatives to inform program and exhibit development, to better understand the needs and backgrounds of Museum audiences, and to conduct research into learning outcomes. In order to do this, the Evaluation & Research team employs a range of data collection methods, including observations, surveys, interviews, and focus groups, and both quantitative and qualitative modes of analysis.
To assist the Evaluation and Research team with data collection and entry. Create charts, graphs and maps for data visualization and update online archive of science news stories.
• Accurate and complete data entry, including surveys and transcribing participant interviews
• Assisting with research, including completing literature reviews of current work in science and museum education
• Data collection, including visitor surveys on the floor and in exhibits and visitor observations
• Creating and editing data visualizations, including maps, charts, and graphs
• Updating an online archive of science news stories
• Assisting with interviews and focus groups
• Data analysis, including frequency counts, correlations, and coding
• Previous experience in an office environment and comfortable working with a team
• Previous data entry and processing experience
• Comfortable interacting with guests in a respectful and professional manner
• Detail-oriented and attentive
• Research background, statistics, evaluation a plus
• Available to volunteer at least one day per week
See if we've covered your question (or contact us if we haven't) on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Ready to Volunteer?
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
- (773) 753-1382
- (773) 753-1357
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about the museum
Opened in 1933, the oldest science Museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere attracts approximately 2 million visitors per year.