All Aboard for a New Volunteering Opportunity at Discovery Space!


Photo courtesy of Anna Schurter

Anna Schurter (top right) with Spark Interns including Gabi Quinones (bottom left) who organized a walk-in event at Discovery Space as part of the Spark Internship Program. “Spark gave me an opportunity to explore something I was passionate about as well as learn and experience all the hard work that goes into organizing public events,” Quinones said. She recommends the Spark Internship for high school students interested in the STEM field and/or teaching.

Jane Bolton, Staff Writer

Are you considering a career in science or teaching? Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity? Discovery Space is an interactive science center which circulates a variety of participative displays through its exhibit floor. It also hosts fun but educational birthday parties, walk-in events, evening programs, and day camps for children of all ages.

Following its move to a larger location on Atherton Street, Discovery Space debuted its Spark Internship program for high school students. While most volunteers work on the exhibit floor, Spark Interns get the opportunity to volunteer at walk-in events, evening programs, and day camps.

Gabi Quinones, one of the Spark Interns last year, organized her own walk-in event. “Spark gave me an opportunity to explore something I was passionate about as well as learn and experience all the hard work that goes into organizing public events,” Quinones said. 

Spark Interns also get the opportunity to develop their own activities for the exhibit floor and to put together and lead their own programs. 

Anna Schurter is the Spark Intern Lead at Discovery Space who developed the Spark Internship program. “I wanted to create an opportunity for high school students that think they may want to get into a specific field to train under someone in that role,” Schurter said. “I’m hoping that through the internship, high schoolers will get the opportunity to… experience a day in the life of [a teacher].”  

Schurter has had a lot of experience in the STEM field. She previously taught high school science and is currently the STEM Educator at Discovery Space where she facilitates day camps, after school programs, and outreach events. She is also the Youth Docent Lead of a new exhibit on ocean research this fall at Discovery Space called “In Search of Earth’s Secrets: a Pop-Up Science Encounter.”

The exhibit is focused on the JOIDES (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling) Resolution, a deep-sea research vessel that takes samples from the ocean floor with data regarding paleobiology and paleontology.

“One of their claims to fame is that they took a core from the crater of the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs and they can actually show the magnitude of life forms that were present before the asteroid and after and how it just annihilated a huge proportion,” Schurter said.

The exhibit has six different kiosks for visitors to interact with the content from the drill boat and is accompanied by a forty-foot inflatable model of the boat with a video wall that gives visitors an inside look into what it would be like on the JOIDES.

Want to climb on board? Discovery Space is recruiting youth docents, grades 7-12, to help facilitate this exhibit. There is a mandatory training session prior to volunteering with the exhibit and training registration forms will be available on Discovery Space’s website by Friday, September 13th. The application process is not competitive and everyone is encouraged to volunteer. Make sure to mark down those dates and sign up to volunteer at this limited-time ocean research exhibit at Discovery Space!


Link to Discovery Space volunteer flyer: