The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) creates models and methods that make the Smithsonian a digital learning laboratory for everyone. SCLDA's primary audience is learners who connect with us through digital technologies for informal learning experiences, which are linked to formal education. We provide extensive digital access to Smithsonian collections and programs to inspire personal exploration. Some examples of this work are: digital badging, online conferences, digital tool kits which assist our audience with making surprising learning connections; and researching how learners of all abilities engage with our digital resources within a museum context. This is not a museum education department or public programs internship, and takes place mostly within an office setting. Students studying new media, digital learning, museum education, and evaluation methods are encouraged to apply.
We are located in Washington, D.C. and are metro-accessible. Our internships are unpaid, but we will work with your school if you’d like to receive credit.
Our highly competitive program has the following opening(s):
Digital Interactives Intern
The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access seeks an intern to assist in the preparation and development of digital interactives (games, simulations, etc.). The intern will be responsible for investigating and collecting new content, collaborating with Smithsonian scientists and educators to verify content accuracy, assisting with the coordination of user testing efforts, and assisting with technical aspects of the development of the interactives. Qualified candidates should have a passion for learning, a demonstrated interest in technology, strong writing/research abilities, and be able to work well and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and specialties. Illustration or graphic design skills, programming experience, or an interest in gaming are preferred.
After completing this internship, the student will be able to:
- Perform research online and in Smithsonian archives on scientific and technical subjects
- Discuss user testing strategies for digital interfaces
- Demonstrate an understanding of the basics of HTML5 game development
- Demonstrate an understanding of the functioning of a production team
Our internships emphasize learning and mentorship, and are designed for college upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. International students: We accept international students provided they are already in the U.S. studying on a visa through sponsorship of their school or university.
All interns are required to undergo a security background investigation and fingerprinting through the Smithsonian’s Office of Protection Services via the Office of Personnel Management before they are accepted into the program.
How to Apply
Please apply using the Smithsonian online application system https://solaa.si.edu. Paper applications will not be considered. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
In SOLAA: (1) Select ‘SCLDA Internship Program’; (2) We currently offer two internship tracks: (1) Digital Learning Projects and (2) Evaluation and Research Projects
Please be aware that complete applications must include the following:
- Academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)
- Essaythat answers: 1) What do you want to learn from the Smithsonian? 2) What experiences have you had with digital media tools? 3) What do you like about museums?
- 2 letters of reference either uploaded by you or by your reference (or a combination)
Essential Tips for the Online Application: We’re Paperless!
• Do NOT click submit on your application until all necessary components are uploaded (i.e. transcripts, essay, resume). Once submitted, you cannot upload or change anything within the application. You can however, save and return to your application during the process of applying, before submitting.
• An unofficial or official transcript can be uploaded by first scanning the document and saving it as a .pdf or .jpeg. Please do not mail the transcript separately.
• In the Reference Letter section, make sure that you click the “send email” button, and that you enter your reference’s e-mail address correctly. This triggers the system to email your referees with instructions for uploading the reference letter. Please advise your reference of this in advance.
Deadlines are rolling, however we begin an internal review of applications for positions after the following dates:
• Spring (January – May) October 15th
• Summer (June – August) February 1st
• Fall (September – December) July 15th
If you have any questions about the application process or SCLDA internships, please send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions concerning the SOLAA application, please go to the Help section on the SOLAA website. You will be able to check your application status online. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted, generally within 3-4 weeks of the posted deadline.