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Teen Opportunities

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

Full STEAM ahead, Chicago!

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!

For more information, email us: youthprograms@adlerplanetarium.org

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Teen Program Offerings

Mission Near Space

Mission Near Space is a summer program like no other! 7th and 8th graders become part of a unique team of engineers, educators, and astronomers to prepare, launch, track, and retrieve a scientific payload sent to the stratosphere aboard a high-altitude balloon. The week ends with a showcase where participants present their exploration results to family members.

Accepted applicants will receive a full scholarship for one week-long program session (a $500 value). They are also eligible to receive a 7-day CTA pass. Participants who complete the week-long program will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card.

Session Dates:

  • Session One: June 10, 2024–June 14, 2024
  • Session Two: June 17, 2024–June 21, 2024
  • Session Three: June 24, 2024–June 28, 2024

Apply Now!

Summer Internship (High School)

Are you 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 2024 Summer Intern Resource Packet for more info!

You should apply to the High School Internship if you’re:

  • Enrolled in high school during the 2023–2024 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 (Monday–Friday, July 8, 2024–August 14, 2024).

Applications open on February 1, 2024, and close on March 1, 2024.

Apply Now!

Far Horizons Teens

Far Horizons Teens is a curiosity-driven cohort of high school-aged science pioneers embedded in the Adler’s exploration program, Far Horizons. This year’s program will focus on calibrating the Ground Observation Network cameras (or GONet cameras for short). GONet cameras were created right here at the Adler by the volunteers, staff, and fellow teens of the Far Horizons research team. They take 360-degree images of the night sky.

We use GONet cameras to measure, monitor, and understand light pollution. Right now, we’re doing work to determine how our GONet images relate to readings from other devices that measure the night sky. If we know what our camera can do, we can better connect it to light pollution research all over the world!

The application for the 2023–2024 school year is closed.

Youth Leadership Council (YLC)

Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is a teen advocacy and leadership-development opportunity for young people with an interest in centering teens’ contributions in museum spaces while building transformational leadership and advocacy skills. YLC members play an important role in ensuring that museum spaces provide equitable and meaningful experiences for young people.

The application for the 2023–2024 school year is 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 Little Village Lawndale High School (LVLHS) in partnership with Enlace Chicago. Through science and advocacy, teens learn about light pollution and its impact on human health, natural environments, and communities.

2023 Teen Program Participants

Summer Teen Interns

Ashley G.
Alexandra L.
Aidan I.
Vanessa K.
Abieyuwa O.
Kylee G.
Kevin S.
Paulina L.
Susan M.
Maetheany B.
Le-Anh W.
Ethan R.
Srivalli K.

Youth Leadership Council (YLC)

Ashal A.
Babesh K.
Dajae A.
Dylan L.
Emily R.
Kadiatou D.
Sol R.
Miya M.
Nabiha A.
Shanelle M.

Youth Organization for Lights Out (YOLO)

Ashley G.
Ashley M.
Christian J.
Esmeralda M.
Guadalupe O.
Quiana L.
Kyle M.
Leticia M.
Sarah M.
Suleimy P.
Vanessa S.

Far Horizons Teens (Spring)

Shanti E.
Riley G.
Olivia R.
Amir S.
Apoorva S.
Louise G.
Miles G.
Logan H.
Sonika J.
Ryan M.
Nicole N.
Oliver R.
Dylan S.
Giovanni T.
Le-Anh W.

Far Horizons Teens (Summer)

Rodolfo C.
Inesia C.
Logan H.
Florian L.
Eliel P.
Miguel S.
Soe T.
Madeleine U.
Constantin V.

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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