Youth Engagement through Science (YES!)

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Four teenagers in red t-shirts and blue gloves stand around a white bucket with smoke or stream coming out of it.

YES! interns working with liquid nitrogen to homogenize plant tissue. Photo by Tiffany Munoz-Zegarra, Smithsonian.

The Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) internship is a career immersion and science communication program for youth between the ages of 13-19, who are currently enrolled in high school in the Washington D.C. region. The YES! program, which runs from June-October, gives interns practical experience through a hands-on science internship with Smithsonian science staff. By participating in the program, teens will also have access to behind-the-scenes tours and field trips, creative studio workshops, college preparatory classes, and the opportunity to create their own TED-type talks. 

Check out past YES! interns’ TED-Ed Talks, and informational videos about the YES program: 

2017 YES! Program Dates:

YES! interns are required to make all session dates.

  • Full-time session: June 26-August 4, 2017 - Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday sessions: August 12-September 16, 2017 - Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • YES! Reach 100: Between September 16 and October 31, YES! interns will be tasked to reach 100 of their peers with their YES! presentations. 

Application Period Has Closed:

The National Museum of Natural History is no longer accepting applications for the 2017 YES! program.

What is in it for you?

  • Research internships with a Smithsonian science mentor in various science disciplines across the National Museum of Natural History. 
  • Q?rius Youth Academy Courses where you will learn how to effectively engage public audiences and your peers in science topics.
  • A chance to meet teens who share similar science interests.
  • Field trips and behind-the-scenes tours.
  • College preparation courses from YES! alumni and a local college visit.
  • A stipend of $1,750.


VIDEOS: Watch TED-style Talks by YES! Global Genome Interns:

A girl with brown hair, gray jacket, and red shirt, smiling while giving a talk in front of a projection screen.

Sal, A Little Piece of Science

A dark-haired boy with glasses and a red shirt speaks in front of a projection screen. He is gesturing with his hands.

Benjamin, Layers of Science

A girl with black hair, glasses, and a red polo shirt talks while standing in front of a projection screen.

Areli, Left Alone in the Lab

A boy with brown hair, glasses, brown sweatshirt and red shirt giving a talk while standing in front of a projection screen.

Joan, A Fish in the Sea

A girl with black hair, in a red shirt, standing and talking in front of a projection screen while holding a piece of paper.

Camile, Impactful Experience



Questions? Call (202) 633-4588 or email