Teen Opportunities

Adler Teens pose in front of the Adler Planetarium.

Teen Opportunities

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?

After School Teen Hangouts

4:00 pm

Join the Adler Planetarium’s youth programs team after school every Wednesday beginning September 14th  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.

Opportunities Include:

  • Do Science Research
  • Teach guests about Science, Technology, & Space
  • Build and send experiments to space
  • Be an Adler Teen Leader

What's Coming Up?

Game-Making Workshops

During the Adler Planetarium’s free Game-Making workshop, students will investigate the philosophy behind games as interaction devices, such as how levels and characters are designed to teach players how to survive in a game’s world. 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?

Along with the valuable STEM experience teens will gain through coding their own games using GameMaker Studio, teens will learn how to design sprites (single-entity graphics), music, sound effects, and more. The technologies students will be introduced to will be free or low-cost, and accessible, so that students will be able to take their game design skills beyond the classroom.

Become an astro-journalist!

Apply to be an Astro-Journalist

As our understanding of the Universe changes almost daily, it’s  important to have strong science communicators – and this is where you come in! Adler Astro–Journalist teens work with STEM mentors to research various topics in current science, write about their findings in blog posts, and participate in ongoing citizen science efforts with projects on Zooniverse. Explore the research and writing of former Astro-Journalist interns on our blog.

This workshop series, open to students ages 14 to 18, will take place from 10 am – 12pm on Saturdays from October 1 through November 19, 2016. Apply now by sending an email to youthprograms@adlerplanetarium.orgSubject: Adler Astro–Journalist Application> with (1) a cover letter explaining why you’d like to be a part of the program and (2) a writing sample, which can be a school assignment or something you’ve written on your own time. Applications are due by Thursday, September 15!

Teem Stratonauts: A Near Space Science Intensive for Teens

Ever send a GoPro higher than Mt. Everest? Ever design and 3D print a work of genius that can withstand 100mph winds and subzero temperatures? Ever wire and code a microcomputer, then send it to the edge of space to measure ultraviolet radiation from the Sun!? …No?!

Well now you can! And we can teach you how. Join the team!

Team Stratonauts is a teen focused, curiosity driven cohort of high school aged space pioneers, part of the Far Horizons Program (The Adler’s Space Exploration Program). Not only will participants learn important STEM skills: 3D Printing, Computer Aided Design, Data Analysis, Coding, Soldering, High Altitude Ballooning-BUT they will also be learning alongside Adler STEM Professionals. Learn as a team, build as a team, fly as a team!