YES! Internship Program Components

Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) Is a Three-Part Program

1. Full-time Internship: 6 weeks, Monday through Friday, June 24 - Aug. 2, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

2. Part-time Internship: 8 weeks, Saturdays only, August 10 - Sept. 28, 2019, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

3. Reach 100: Interns tasked to reach 100 of their peers, Sept. 29 - November 1, 2019

Summer Program Components (June 24 - August 2)

Component 1: Career Immersion

  • Science Internship. Interns work in pairs on a hands-on project led by a Smithsonian science mentor at the National Museum of Natural History, National Zoological Park, or Smithsonian Gardens. Projects cover a wide range of scientific disciplines and interns experience first-hand what it's like to conduct research at the Smithsonian. Interns discover what goes on behind-the-scenes at a natural history museum, and learn how their project contributes to the Smithsonian's overall research goals. 
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tours, Field Trips, Guest Speakers and Science Workshops. As part of the YES! program, interns experience the vast scope of the Smithsonian Institution through behind-the scenes tours and field trips to some of the Institution's museums and research centers in the area. In addition, guest speakers from our science community speak with our students about their work and lead interactive, hands-on science workshops. 

Component 2: Communicating Science

Community Leadership is key to sustaining students’ interest in their work and to sustaining relationships between students, their communities, and the Smithsonian. Interns engage in interactive workshops covering various skills, including oral and written communication and research presentation. Participants are provided with guidelines and opportunities to communicate and make presentations as real-world professionals.

  • Communicating Science to Public Audiences: Interns work with the Museum’s Education and Outreach staff to learn how science is communicated to the public. Participants engage in interactive workshops covering various skills, including oral and written communication and research presentations. Interns are provided with guidelines and opportunities to communicate as real-world professionals.
  • Community Day: On the last day of the summer program, the interns use their newly acquired science communication skills to present the results of the projects they worked on with their science mentors. This event allows the Smithsonian community and museum visitors to view the students’ projects and learn more about their summer experience.

Fall Program Components
 (Saturdays, August 10 - September 28)

Component 1: College Preparation

  • Practical College Preparation: NMNH collaborates with Program Directors, Academic Advisors, and Deans of Undergraduate Studies at colleges and universities in the DC metropolitan area to discuss making the transition from high school to college. Through a college panel, interns learn about applications, scholarships, practices of successful students, choosing a major, and how to best find a place in the campus community. In addition, YES! alumni who are in college or have graduated from college are invited to NMNH to act as mentors for the existing cohort of YES! interns through college preparatory discussions, panels, and electives.
  • College Visits: On two Saturdays and the Columbus Day holiday, interns visit college campuses in the Washington, D.C., area to speak with admissions counselors, meet current students, and explore their campuses. Interns are required to attend at least two of the three college visits. 

Component 2: Science Communication

  • For six Saturdays, interns engage in our science communication curriculum which teaches them how to translate their summer research into a compelling, personal, and authentic science story for the general public. This science story is filmed, edited, and produced into a finished video product that can be used for college, scholarship, and job applications. DCTV, a local television production company, partners with YES! interns to run development workshops, film and edit, and also broadcast the videos.

Reach 100 (September 29 - November 1)

Between September 29 and November 1, YES! interns participate in a "Reach 100" initiative. Every intern is tasked to reach at least 100 peers through the Reach 100 Initiative. This allows interns to serve as multipliers, increasing the effectiveness of our efforts to become a relevant place for young people to explore their science interests and gain the skills and experience necessary for science careers. Reach 100 presentations can take place at the interns' schools, after school programs, and/or community centers. Interns will also have the option to present at "Intern is In" sessions organized by Youth Programs staff, where they will discuss their research with visitors to Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center at the National Museum of Natural History.