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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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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.

Upcoming Adler Teen Programs

  • Far Horizons
  • Youth Leadership Council
  • Youth Organization For Lights Out

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

Teen Program Offerings

Far Horizons Teen Captains

Far Horizons Teen Captains is a small curiosity-driven cohort of high school-aged science pioneers embedded in Adler’s exploration program, Far Horizons. This year’s program will continue to focus on urban light pollution right here in Chicago. Participants will collaborate with educators, researchers, community partners, and engineers to design and pilot a study to collect light pollution data which will be implemented in the spring. They will also take on a leadership role within the Far Horizon spring cohort.

YOU SHOULD APPLY TO FAR HORIZONS TEEN CAPTAINS IF YOU’RE…

  • Enrolled in high school during the 2022–2023 school year
  • A Team Stratonauts, YOLO, or Astro-Science Workshop alumni
  • Interested in creative problem solving and learning through hands-on science exploration
  • Excited to collaborate with peers and STEAM professionals to advance new research
  • Looking to grow in leadership experience and be a collaborator in the direction of Far Horizon Teen exploration.
  • Available to attend ALL program dates and the Orientation (October 1, 11:00 am–12:30 pm) onsite at the Adler Planetarium 
  • Available to participate in the 2023 Spring Far Horizon Cohort (March 11, 18, 25; April 1, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20), formerly known as Team Stratonauts.

Meeting Schedule: Programming is on Saturdays from 10:00 am–3:00 pm, with a lunch break, on the following dates. There will also be at least two nighttime field trips to the Palos Preserves, dates TBD.  

  • October 8, 15, and 22
  • November 5, 12, and 19
  • December 3, 10, and 17

Stipend & Transportation Support: 

  • Participants will receive travel support in the form of CTA passes
  • Participants will earn a stipend of up to $350

Application Timeline:

  • The application closes at 5:00 pm on September 2
  • Select candidates will be invited to interview by September 7
  • Virtual interviews will take place between September 9–22
  • All applicants will be notified of their application status by September 23

APPLY NOW!

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.

YOU SHOULD APPLY TO YLC IF YOU…

  • Enrolled in high school during the 2022 – 2023 school year
  • Available to attend each scheduled council meeting and the Orientation (October 1, 11:00 am–12:30 pm) onsite at the Adler Planetarium 
  • Interested in organizing and want to boost your leadership and advocacy skills
  •  Interested in partnering with adult allies to ensure that teenagers are meaningfully represented and valued in museum setting

Meeting Schedule: 

Most council meetings will be held in person at the Adler, with a few meetings taking place virtually over Zoom.  Meetings are held each Saturday beginning October 8, 2022, and ending May 20, 2023. 

  • In-person meetings at the Adler: 10:00 am–2:00 pm
  • Virtual meetings:  11:00 am–2:00 pm

The council will NOT meet on November 26, December 24, December 31, 2022, and February 18,  2023.

Stipend & Transportation Support: 

  • Participants will receive travel support in the form of CTA passes
  • Participants who complete the full term can earn up to a $700 stipend

Application Timeline:

  • The application closes at 5:00 pm on  September 2
  • Select candidates will be invited to interview by September 7
  • Virtual interviews will take place between September 9–22
  • All applicants will be notified of their application status by September 23

APPLY NOW!

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.

YOLO participants will:

  • Use photography to document, reflect upon, and communicate about light pollution in their communities
  • Research the night sky from their communities, parks, and other natural areas
  • Partner with light pollution experts to learn more about light pollution and advocate for local changes

YOU SHOULD APPLY TO YOLO IF YOU’RE…

  • In 9th–12th Grade  at a school on the Little Village Lawndale High School Campus (Multicultural Arts High School, World Language High School, Social Justice High School, or Infinity Math, Science, & Technology High School)
  • Available to attend ALL program dates & the Orientation (October 1, 11:00 am–12:30 pm) onsite at the Adler Planetarium 

Meeting Schedule:

The program begins on October 11, 2022 and ends on May 18, 2023. Sessions are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from  3:30 pm–5:30 pm at the Little Village Lawndale High School Campus and on the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 am–02:00 pm at the Adler Planetarium. Please note that two field trips will be scheduled during the school year on TBD dates that are outside of normal program hours.

Stipend & Transportation Support: 

  • Participants will receive travel support in the form of CTA passes
  • Participants will earn a stipend of up to $700

Application Timeline:

  • The application closes at 5:00 pm on  September 10
  • Select candidates will be invited to interview by September 13
  • Virtual interviews will take place between September 15–22
  • All applicants will be notified of their application status by September 23

APPLY NOW!

Operation Airlift

After a three-year hiatus, Operation Airlift is back! On February 18, 2023, young people in 7th–8th Grade will put their design, engineering, and electronics skills to work! At this design-engineering competition, teams of students will compete to design and build the best possible remotely-controlled airship. Join us for this fun day, where teens will connect with their peers, adult volunteers, and Adler Planetarium staff. 

More information coming later this fall!

Summer Internships

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.

Information for 2023 will be posted in February.

2021 & 2022 Teen Program Participants

Summer Teen Interns

2021

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

2022

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

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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