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Teen Opportunities

A group of Adler Teens posing outside of the Adler and in front of the Chicago skyline.

At the Adler, we believe in the natural curiosity and visionary leadership of Chicago’s youth and strive to create a welcoming space for personal growth and scientific experimentation. The Adler Planetarium provides opportunities for young people to engage deeply with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), prepare for a variety of careers, act as community thinkers and change-makers, and meet peers from across the city all while having fun!

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Upcoming Adler Teen Programs

  • Far Horizons Teens (Summer)
  • Mission Near Space

Teen Program Offerings

Far Horizons Teens (Summer)

Did you know that light pollution is dangerous to people and animals? Are you curious about how science and engineering can be used to help the environment? This summer in Far Horizons Teens, high school students will learn about light pollution and what we can do to prevent it. Through hands-on activities, participants will develop skills in electronic circuitry, computer programming, structural design, and teamwork. Working in small groups, participants will design, build, and present prototype solutions to mitigate the effects of light pollution.


  • Enrolled in 8th–11th grade during the 2022–2023 school year
  • Interested in learning new STEM skills and passionate about science
  • A team player who collaborates well with peers

Meeting Schedule:

  • Sessions will be held Monday–Friday, June 26, 2023–July 14, 2023 from 10:00 am–4:00 pm
  • Please note there will be no session on July 3, 2023 or July 4, 2023

Stipend & Transportation Support:

  • Participants will receive travel support in the form of CTA passes
  • Participants who successfully complete the workshop series will earn a $350 stipend

Application Timeline:

  • Application Opens: February 1, 2023
  • Application Closes: March 3, 2023
  • Interview Invitation: March 17, 2023
  • Interview Dates: March 31, 2023–April 7, 2023

Applications for the 2023 summer are closed.

Summer Internship (High School)

Looking for a summer job that will be challenging, fun, and eye-opening? The Adler’s Teen Internship Program places current high school students in professional museum roles. Review the 2023 Summer Intern Resource Packet for more info!


  • Enrolled in high school during the 2022–2023 school year (current 8th graders and college students are not eligible)
  • Interested in building professional skills in a supportive and fun environment
  • Excited to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Available for all onsite program dates and able to attend an orientation

Meeting Schedule:

  • Program Orientation: June 24, 2023
  • All Program Dates: Monday–Friday, July 5, 2023–August 11, 2023

Applications for this position are closed.

Mission Near Space

Mission Near Space is a summer camp like no other. In Mission Near Space, teens become part of a unique team of engineers and astronomers whose goal is to prepare, launch, track, and retrieve a scientific payload sent to the stratosphere aboard a high altitude balloon. The week ends with a showcase in which participants present their exploration results to family members.

Participant Eligibility:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in 7th–8th grade during the 2022–2023 school year
  • Applicants must attend a Chicago Public School (CPS)
  • Priority is given to participants attending CPS neighborhood or charter schools
  • Priority is given to participants who identify as African American and/or Latinx
  • Participants will be selected to ensure geographic representation of Chicago
  • All participants must be COVID-19 vaccinated, unless they request and are granted a medical or religious exemption. Exemptions are considered individually by the Adler Planetarium’s Human Resources department and are not guaranteed.

Meeting Schedule:

  • Session One: June 19, 2023–June 23, 2023
  • Session Two: July 24, 2023–July 28, 2023
  • Session Three: July 31, 2023–August 4, 2023
  • Each session will be held: Monday–Friday, 9:00 am–3:00 pm
  • Sign in starts at 8:30 am and sign out is at 3:00 pm.
  • One extended day trip on Thursday (Wednesday back-up day if weather looks bad for Thursday) where drop-off is between 7:45 am–8:15 am and return occurs between 4:00 pm–6:00 pm

Stipend & Transportation Support:

  • Applicants who are accepted to the program will receive a full scholarship to one week-long program session (a $500 value)
  • Travel support for participants will be offered in the form of a 7-day CTA pass
  • Participants who complete the full-week will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card

Application Timeline:

  • Initial Application Review: April 16, 2023–April 22, 2023
  • Application Status Notification: April 28, 2023

If you are offered a place in the program, we will send you a link to register for the program to secure your place.

Apply Now!

Questions? Please email youthprograms@adlerplanetarium.org.

Youth Leadership Council (YLC)

Youth Leadership Council is a Teen advocacy and leadership development opportunity for young people with an interest in centering “youth voice” within the museum community.

This year’s council will oversee the creation of YLC’s signature event, BLACK HOLE: Teen Voices at the Adler and partner with teen participants from the Adler’s Youth Organization for Lights Out program to help design and curate a photography exhibition about light pollution. YLC members can gain valuable transformational leadership and interpersonal skills, build meaningful working relationships, and play a critical role in ensuring that museum spaces are providing equitable and meaningful experiences for young people.

Applications for the 2022–2023 school year are closed.

Youth Organization for Lights Out (YOLO)

Youth Organization for Lights Out (YOLO) is a hands-on STEAM learning and environmental justice program focused on light pollution. This after-school program takes place at the Little Village Lawndale High School (LVLHS) campus in partnership with Enlace Chicago. Enlace Chicago is a non-profit organization aiming to improve Little Village residents’ quality of life. 

Through science and advocacy, teens will learn about light pollution and its impact on human health, natural environments, and communities.

Applications for the 2022–2023 school year are closed.

2021 & 2022 Teen Program Participants

Summer Teen Interns


Jasmine A.
Giselle A.
Nabiha A.
Ophelia B.
Justin C. D.
Cynthia G.
Erick J.
Margaret K.
Janice M.
Kei S.


Tasnova A.
Ibilola F.
Daisy G.
Babesh K.
Dylan L.
Ryan M.
Chinasa N.
Amir S.

Youth Leadership Council (YLC)

Da’Jai A. YLC
Salsabel A. YLC | Astro Science Workshop
Nabiha A. YLC *2 terms | Summer Intern 2021
Tarisai D. YLC *3 terms
David J. YLC
Dylan L. YLC | Summer Intern 2022
Richa S. YLC
Cynthia S. YLC
Isabella S. YLC
Apoorva S. YLC | Astro Science Workshop
Samyra S. YLC | YLC Program Support Lead * 2 terms

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Effective November 8, 2021, we have implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy that will require all employees, interns, onsite teen program participants, temporary employees, and volunteers to receive one of the CDC-authorized vaccines, unless a medical or religious reasonable accommodation is approved.

Please note: at this time we are not asking you to provide any information about your current vaccination status, whether you would seek a religious or medical accommodation to the policy, nor for any other medical information—we are only notifying you of the policy if you are interested in moving forward with the application process.


For more information, drop us a line at: youthprograms@adlerplanetarium.org

Thanks To Our Sponsors

The Adler Planetarium is grateful to Bank of America, Bears Care, ComEd and the Exelon Foundation, Foglia Family Foundation, Motorola Solutions, Northrop Grumman, Pritzker Foundation, and S&C Electric Company Fund for supporting teen opportunities.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-245279-OMS-20].


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