Each summer, as the Hall extends its open hours and welcomes hundreds of children for summer camps, an additional wave of young people join us to help facilitate our hands-on programs. Since 2013, some of the students working in the Hall’s Ingenuity Lab have been teen interns from Achieve, an academic scholarship program aimed at increasing educational opportunities for all students.
Achieve is a year-round, four-year high school scholarship and mentorship program serving over 80 students in the Bay Area. Tuition grants enable students to attend private schools in San Francisco and Alameda, while a team of educators provides them with tutoring, mentorship, and support throughout all four years of high school. Achieve also matches its students with summer internship opportunities at the Lawrence Hall of Science as well as dozens of other institutions across the Bay Area.
This year, four Achieve students joined Hall staff, volunteers, and other teen interns in the Ingenuity Lab. They spent three weeks on the museum floor, facilitating engineering challenges and other activities in the Ingenuity Lab. As the Ingenuity Lab is one of the Hall’s most popular programs, there was no shortage of kids and families for them to engage with, which was an expressed goal of one of the interns.
“Before coming here I wasn’t really a social person,” one of the interns told us. “I’ve learned to get out of my comfort zone. I’m usually pretty shy, but when you have excited kids here to do activities, you can’t be shy.”
Another told us how rewarding it was to be a part of engaging kids with hands-on science, saying: “It’s been amazing. I never really realized how talented and energetic kids are. You get a very warm feeling from working with them.”
Overall, the interns greatly enjoyed their experience working in the Ingenuity Lab. They especially appreciated the chance to work with kids and be a part of something bigger. When asked if working at the Hall has changed their attitude toward science, the interns said that they had a more positive view of science than they did before their experience at the Hall. One of them had already been planning to pursue a degree in a science, technology, engineering, and math field, and working at the Hall only strengthened his commitment.
The Hall greatly appreciated all the help these interns provided, and we hope to welcome many more talented young people from Achieve and other programs in the future.