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 (grades 9-11) 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: 

2018 YES! Program Dates:

YES! interns are required to make all session dates.

  • Full-time session: June 25-August 3, 2018 - Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday sessions: August 12-September 16, 2018 - Sundays 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • Reach 100: Between September 16 and November 1, YES! interns will be tasked to reach 100 of their peers with their YES! presentations.

How to Apply:

We are no longer accepting applications for 2018.

The certificate of completion received at the end of our After School Forensic Investigations can be used to demonstrate the interest in science necessary for acceptance into the Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) internship 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. 
  • Training 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 Some 2017 YES! Interns:

YES! intern Bibiana in a red polo shirt and black jacket, standing in front of a large video screen.

Bibiana, Learning at the Zoo

YES! intern Carlos in a red polo shirt, standing in front of a large video screen.

Carlos, Canoes to iPhones

YES! intern Evelin in a red polo shirt, standing in front of a large video screen.

Evelin, Lunar Craters

YES! intern Maiss in a red polo shirt, standing in front of a large video screen.

Maiss, Mislabeling Fish

YES! intern Livia in a red polo shirt, standing in front of a large video screen.

Livia, Tiny Shells



Questions? Call (202) 633-4588 or email