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Students

Youth Programs

We are engaging the next generation of leaders in science, engineering and biology.  Discover ways to become involved with our industry-leading programs, tailored for students 11 to 17 years old.

Our exciting Job Shadow Program allows students in grades 6 to 12 to gain a glimpse into the aquarium world. Students get the opportunity to observe jobs that keep the Aquarium afloat, like that of an aquarist, an educator or a mammal behaviorist. Our 2020 programs will be offered on January 20, February 17 and September 7. Most schools are not in session on those dates, so students will not accrue an absence.

How to apply:

1) Complete the application form below.
2) Write a 300-word essay describing why you are interested in participating and what you hope to gain from the experience.
3) Secure a letter of recommendation from an adult, non-family member (preferably a current teacher).
4) Submit the form, essay and recommendation letter to:

South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Ashley Zalabak
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401

Application dealines:

January 13 (for January 20 Shadow Day)
February 10 (for February 17 Shadow Day)
August 31 (for September 7 Shadow Day)

We will accept the first fifteen applicants and contact parents by phone or email after the deadline to inform you whether your student has been accepted to participate in the program.

Application Form

Our Splash Program is designed for 13- to 17-year-old students to volunteer with a parent or guardian as Exhibit Guides at cart stations and in our galleries. These volunteer teams spread the Aquarium’s mission with special emphasis on education and conservation while simultaneously providing exemplary customer service. Teams can participate in either our summer or year-round Splash Program.

How to apply:

1) Write a typed, one-page essay expressing why you and your parent/guardian would make a great volunteer team. Indicate the program for which you are applying (summer or year-round), and include contact information for both of you.
2) Provide a letter of recommendation from a non-relative adult (like a teacher, scout leader, coach or pastor). Make sure your reference includes his/her daytime phone number in the letter.
3) Submit the essay and recommendation letter to us by either mail or email:

South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Volunteer Services
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
volunteer@scaquarium.org

SUMMER SPLASH PROGRAM

Application deadline:

Friday, March 22, 2019
All teams selected for further consideration will be contacted for an interview. Interviews will be scheduled in April 2019.  Teams accepted into the program will begin volunteering in May 2019, after attending mandatory orientation and training(s).

Commitment:

Students and parents invited to participate in the Summer Splash Program are committed to volunteer for a minimum of one shift a week for 10 weeks. (Shifts available: Monday – Friday, 8:30am-1pm and 12:30-5pm; Saturday – Sunday, 8:30am-12pm, 11:30am-2:30pm and 2-5pm)

YEAR-ROUND SPLASH PROGRAM

Application deadline:

Essay and letter may be submitted at any time.
All teams selected for further consideration will be contacted for an interview. Teams accepted into the program will begin volunteering after attending mandatory orientation and training(s).

Commitment:

Students and parents invited to participate in the year-round Splash Program are committed to volunteer for a minimum of one shift a week for one year. (Shifts available: Monday – Friday, 8:30am-1pm and 12:30-5pm; Saturday – Sunday, 8:30am-12pm, 11:30am-2:30pm and 2-5pm)

Internship Opportunities

Every year, ten eleventh-grade students are selected to form an elite group through the Aquarium’s competitive and award-winning High School Intern Program.  This once in a lifetime opportunity offers Charleston-area students real-life work experience in a unmatched work environment.

The South Carolina Aquarium High School Intern Program is an opportunity to become a paid intern for 11th grade students in the Charleston. Each spring, students attend training classes to learn about animals, ocean science, career development and team-building skills. Ten students are then chosen to continue on as paid summer interns, working with marine educators and biologists throughout the summer.  Students may participate in the High School Intern program only once.

The High School Intern Program is made possible by donations from generous partners including: Alcoa Foundation, Boeing South Carolina, Google, SCE&G, and VWR Charitable Foundation.

Requirements
  • Be a current 11th grade student
  • Have a strong interest in animals and the environment

Two references from teachers must be submitted; one must be from a science teacher. Two teachers must complete a reference form. Reference forms must be submitted in order to be considered for an internship. All applications are due by November 1, 2019.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: Nov. 1, 2019
Interviews: Dec. 3 – Dec. 18, 2019
Acceptance Mailed: Dec. 20 – 28, 2019
Parent Orientation: Jan. 8, 2020 7:00 pm
Training Classes: Jan. – April 2020
Second Interviews: May 2020
Internship Orientations: May – June 2020
Summer Internship: June – August 2020 (8 weeks)
Family Night: July 2020

All application materials must be completed and sent to:

After receiving your application and teacher references, an Aquarium team member will contact you to set up an interview. Applicants who are accepted will participate in training classes at the Aquarium from January – April. Classes will meet once a month on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Participants will be evaluated on interest, commitment and progress shown during the training classes. In April, participants will be interviewed again by Aquarium team members. Based on these evaluations, 10 participants will be chosen for paid internships with our Education staff. Internships will be 20 hours/week, $9/hour, and will last for eight weeks during the months of June – July.

Mail to: South Carolina Aquarium, Attn: Ashley Zalabak / HS Intern Program, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401

Application Form   Teacher Reference Form

Internship Opportunities

The South Carolina Aquarium has various opportunities for students to engage in meaningful, hands-on learning through our college internship program. This practical learning gives students the chance to gain real-world experience and learn job responsibilities. Current positions are listed below.

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