Community Teen Interns

How to qualify for the program

The Community Teen Intern program is designed for high school students in grades 10-11 who reside in the Science Center’s immediate geographic community.

This program asks interns to devote time to the California Science Center, so to make sure that this program does not detract from important class work from high school, interns and prospective applicants must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Additionally, because this program requires interns to become employees of the California Science Center Foundation, interns must be able to work in the United States.

Educator in Fire Exhibit presenting to guests

What do I do?

Our Community Teen Interns are part of the Education Department, working directly with museum guests and delivering in-person programming. Their core job – and indeed, it is a job! - is to help connect science to people’s lives through hands-on science activities.

In their own words, they are here to excite people about science! 


The Community Teen Intern program is a paid job. Because of that, interested high school students will need to apply for this program. The program is competitive—carefully review the qualifications and submit your completed application before the deadline.

Applications are currently CLOSED for the 2023-24 school year. Please check back in August 2024 for the 2024-25 school year.


  • Must be a currently enrolled high school sophomore or junior (classes of 2025, 2026) with a minimum 2.0 grade point average. We are not accepting seniors for this cycle.
  • Ability to work 7-10 hours a week during the school year and 35 hours a week during the summer.
  • Ability to work weekends and school holidays starting October 14th, 2023.
  • Applicants must reside or go to school within a one (1) mile radius of the California Science Center.
  • Applicants must have interest or passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related fields.
  • Comfort with public speaking preferred, but not required.
  • Ability to follow directions and be a team player.
  • Ability to work independently and interdependently.
  • Positive, enthusiastic attitude and eagerness to learn.

Effectiveness/evaluative efforts

Goals of the Community Teen Intern Program for our interns are:

  • Foster confidence and self-esteem in STEM related fields
  • Learn inquiry-based learning techniques to connect with the public in formal and informal settings
  • Serve as a guide or facilitator, initiating contact with visitors to enrich the museum experience.
  • Lead STEM activities on the exhibit floor such as, but not limited to, Fire simulations and Dive Shows.
  • Preparing students for the workforce and college by focusing on communication and leadership skills.
  • Represent the Science Center at community-based events.
  • Assist with the design and development of future floor programs and exhibit galleries.


Text "Community Teen Interns" surrounded by collage of intern portraits
“I love being a Community Teen Intern because this job has opened a new possibility for my future. Now, I have the confidence to pursue a degree in education and science.”

-Second Year Intern

“As a Community Teen Intern in the Education department, I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone which was really hard for me, because I’m naturally a shy person. Now I really enjoy leading Kelp Forest Exploration shows and working with kids. I love seeing the excitement on their face when we lead hands-on activities throughout the Science Center.”

-First Year Intern

Meet the Staff

Image of Karen in forest
Karen Arroyo

Community Engagement Specialist


Karen was born and raised in Los Angeles to immigrant parents. She earned her bachelor's degree in molecular environmental biology from UC Berkeley where she continued to work as an Environmental Biologist. Her field research projects gave her a deeper understanding of wetland conservation, regenerative forms of agriculture, and butterflies as ecosystem health indicators. Karen’s passion for hands-on learning led her to become a butterfly exhibit curator and an outdoor educator. Whether she is teaching in a formal or informal setting, Karen uses inquiry-based learning to connect with her community.

In 2022, Karen combined her skills in scientific research, exhibit development, and science communication to join the California Science Center as the Community Engagement Specialist. Here, she oversees the Community Teen Intern Program and helps teenagers develop skills needed in higher education and careers in STEM. Her goal is to build a resilient generation of learners and make science fun and accessible for all.