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):
IMMEDIATE OPENING / Open until filled
Seminar Programs Intern
Learn how to plan and implement a series of seminars for faculty members of a local community college. Participate in the planning of a Indian spiritual music concert. Qualified student will be a motivated undergraduate student interested in history and culture, have strong writing/research abilities, and be able to work well and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and specialties.
Digital Graphics Intern
The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access seeks an intern to assist in the artistic creation of digital graphics (for games, simulations, etc.). The intern will be responsible for collaborating with staff and digital interactive interns to develop game UI and art. Qualified candidates should have strong illustration and graphic design skills, a demonstrated interest in technology, and be able to communicate well with people of diverse backgrounds and specialties. Digital skills using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator are preferred. Please apply online in SOLAA at https://solaa.si.edu. In your essay, discuss what you want to learn during the internship and place a link to your online portfolio. Letters of recommendation are not needed, however, please include the names and contact information for two people who we can contact about you suitability for this internship. College or graduate students are welcome to apply.
After completing this internship, the student will be able to:
- Develop and manage visual assets in a production environment
- Discuss UI and UX testing strategies for digital interfaces
- Demonstrate an understanding of iterative development strategies
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
Evaluation and Research Intern
Depending upon the students’ interests and experience—the project will be tailored to fit student learning goals. They will participate in a multitude of evaluation projects currently in progress at SCLDA. Past projects have included learning how to conduct an ethnographic study: how to shape such a study, how to take notes, analyze and report them. Evaluate projects involving the SCLDA digital platform and visitors with special needs, e.g., interactives/scaling; implement literature reviews and participate in the conceptualization of related evaluation projects. Qualified candidates should be college juniors or seniors, or master’s students. Previous experience in museum settings is helpful.
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) Select Project. 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.