The Adler’s Teen Programs focus on providing technical and professional skills, mentorship, and a welcoming learning environment for Chicago high school students of all backgrounds, interests, and abilities. We offer internships, workshops, after-school programs, and more. Whether you’re building a website, programming a robot, blogging about current space science, or facilitating a workshop for other teens, you’ll make an impact here!
Want to stay up to date about our teen programs? Sign up for our email list!
The Adler Planetarium is grateful to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Barker Welfare Foundation, Baxter, The Dover Foundation, Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at The Chicago Community Trust, The Leo S. Guthman Fund, the Pritzker Foundation, S&C Electric Company Foundation, The Siragusa Foundation, and Wells Fargo for supporting teen opportunities.
What's Going On?
Join the Adler Planetarium’s youth programs team after school every Wednesday beginning September 20, 2017 at the Doane Observatory from 4 pm to 7 pm during the school year! Hang out with us, meet new friends, and learn some new skills in science, engineering, and digital media. Design, model, and print objects with our 3D printers. Build and hack technology with Arduino, Makey Makey, or Raspberry Pi. We have laptops and tablets for you to explore these exciting tools, work on projects, or finish homework!
Internships & Volunteering
Are you a high school student and at least 14 years old? If so, you are eligible to join our volunteer team! Volunteers work in almost every area of the Adler, from helping visitors learn more about space to doing behind-the-scenes work. Volunteer hours can also count towards service learning hours.
- Do Science Research
- Teach guests about Science, Technology, & Space
- Build and send experiments to space
- Be an Adler Teen Leader
What's Coming Up?
Fall FestivalTuesday, September 19 4:30—7:00 pm
Kick off the new school year and find out about ways you can get involved at the Adler, from after-school hangouts and video game making workshops, to volunteering and our Youth Leadership Council! The Adler is a great place to learn new things, gain experience, and/or just have fun.
At our FREE Fall Festival, you can play games, eat dinner, meet new people, enjoy a planetarium show, and explore the museum. You’ll also learn more about some of our free programs for high school students:
- Weekly Teen Hangouts at the Adler
- Game-Making and Stratonauts workshops: Earn bills and learn skills!
- Special Event Volunteer Opportunities
- Youth Leadership Council
This event is geared toward students in high school, but alumni, parents, and mentors are welcome to join.
Team Stratonauts is a teen-focused, curiosity-driven cohort of high school-aged science pioneers, and part of Far Horizons (Adler’s space exploration program). Not only will participants learn important STEM skills through 3D Printing, computer aided design, data analysis, coding, soldering, underwater robotics, but they will also be learning alongside Adler STEM professionals and volunteers. Learn as a team, build as a team, explore as a team!
Interested? Learn more and apply online by by Friday, September 22. Participating students will receive a stipend of $300.
Youth Leadership CouncilOctober 2017—June 2018
Our Youth Leadership Council (YLC) exists to give qualified and dedicated young people an opportunity to take a more active role within the Adler, serving as THE teen voice on many projects throughout the museum.
YLC will develop and facilitate interactive outreach programs for partner events around the city of Chicago; plan and execute teen-oriented programming at the Adler; collaborate with Adler staff; and represent the Adler teen community at the museum as well at city-wide events. This program runs October through June.
Interested? Read more about our expectations and fill out the online application by Friday, September 29. Participating students will receive a stipend of $500.
The Adler’s Game-Making Workshops will teach teens how to design, build, and test prototype tabletop and video games. Participants will investigate the philosophy behind games as interaction devices as they explore several key questions of game design including:
- How are levels and characters designed to teach players how to survive in a game’s
- Why do more experienced players have a tendency to want to destroy things, while newer
players often choose building-based routes?
- How can a developer use code and logic to predict how a player will act or respond?
Interested? Learn more and apply online by Wednesday, September 27. Participating students will receive a stipend of $300.