Teen Opportunities

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.

ADLER YOUTH VOICE PROJECT

Are you a writer? Want to become a published author? Want to get your voice heard on a national level?

The Adler Youth Voice Project (AYVP) aims to place student voices within the Adler Planetarium and other places connected to our national audience. In previous years, student work has been shown at Adler events and published on the National Geographic blog.

This year, The AYVP is publishing its first collection, Adler Youth Voices, and we’re looking for teen writers (or teens who want to be writers) to learn about science communication, reflect on their personal experience with science, and write both fiction and non-fiction scientific topics within Chicago’s scientific communities.

Along with the valuable experience participants will gain through writing workshops, meeting with scientific professionals, and publishing their work, participants will also each receive a $300 stipend, CTA passes, and a copy of the first-ever volume of Adler Youth Voices.

What is your place in science? In space? In your community? How does all of this relate? Find out this and more in Adler Youth Voices.

Meeting Schedule:

Workshops will be held on Tuesdays from 5:00–7:00 pm, beginning on Tuesday, February 19. The workshops will meet weekly—with the exception of on March 19—until April 23.

Interested? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Currently enrolled in high school
  • Interest in storytelling and communication—if you’ve written fanfiction, played visual novel games, or just enjoy writing about science, you’d be a great fit!
  • Creative ideas—how will you make science-related writing not boring?
  • A desire to explore multiple types of writing: essay, fiction, memoir, and more!
  • Previous writing experience is NOT necessary. Some of our best writers have been game designers, visual artists, and performers. If you’re on the fence about applying because you don’t feel like a writer, give it a shot anyway! You’ll probably surprise yourself!

Stipend:

Students who successfully complete the workshop series will earn a $300 stipend. Stipends will be paid in two installments.

Transportation:

CTA passes provided.

TEAM STRATONUATS

Ever code and wire a sensor to capture data from your own neighborhood, then use your findings to make a better world? Ever design and 3D-print a work of genius that can travel to the edge of space? Ever program a tiny computer, then send it on an underwater journey to discover, detect, and retrieve pieces of space?

No? Well, now you can try these and other projects! And we can teach you how.

Team Stratonauts is a teen-focused, curiosity-driven cohort of high school-aged science pioneers, part of the Far Horizons Program (The Adler’s Space Exploration Program). Not only will participants learn important STEM skills—like (3D printing, computer aided design, data analysis, coding, soldering, high altitude ballooning)—they will also be learning alongside Adler STEM Professionals. Learn as a team, build as a team, explore as a team!

Interested? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Currently enrolled in high school and at least 15 years old
  • Previous experience with coding, electronics, and 3D design is required
  • nterest in creative problem solving and interested in learning through hands-on science exploration
  • A desire to explore multiple different types of digital and physical tools, including but not limited to: soldering, drill press, Arduino, TinkerCAD, Fusion360, Makerbot, GoPro, and Adobe Suite

Meeting Schedule:

Workshops will be held on Saturdays from 12:00–4:00 pm from March 9 through June 1. Additional hours may be added on certain Saturdays (TBD) for science trips into the field.

Stipend:

Students who successfully complete the workshop series will earn a $300 stipend. Stipends will be paid in two installments.

Transportation:

CTA passes provided

TEEN TELESCOPE AMBASSADORS

Have you ever looked through a telescope? Would you like to both learn to operate telescopes and observe astronomical objects? What about using that expertise to help us bring telescopes to YOUR community?

As part of the Adler Planetarium’s Teen Telescope Ambassadors program, teens will become observing experts. They’ll learn how to find objects in the night sky and get the opportunity to utilize Adler’s telescopes to make their own observations of the Moon, planets, and more. They’ll also plan a community observing event in their own neighborhoods to share the opportunity to look through a telescope with their friends, family, and neighbors!

Meeting Schedule:

Workshops will be held on Tuesdays from 5:00-7:30 pm from February 12 through April 2. Two to four additional dates will be added during the session for culminating telescope events in participants’ communities on evenings in April. A final meeting will be held 5:00-7:30 pm on April 30.

Interested? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Currently enrolled in high school and at least 15 years old
  • A desire to explore the night sky using telescopes
  • Previous knowledge of telescopes or space science is NOT necessary! Anyone enthusiastic to learn about telescopes and excited to support others in learning about space is welcome

Stipend:

Students who successfully complete the workshop series will earn a $300 stipend. Stipends will be paid in two installments.

Transportation:

CTA passes provided

Adler Teen Events

WAFFLES AND RESUMES

Saturday, February 2
10:00 am–1:00 pm

Resumes, cover letters and interviews, oh my! We know application processes can be challenging, so why not make application processes a little sweeter with some waffles?

Waffles and resumes is:

  • An Open House: Learn about spring and summer opportunities that exist for teens in Chicago both at the Adler and beyond, while meeting some of the staff that run these programs!
  • A Workshop: Create or get feedback on your resume, walk away with some information that may help you better understand an application process from start to finish, and observe a live mock interview!
  • A Meal: Have some waffles and breakfast time refreshments!

Interested? Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Currently enrolled in high school
  • Students interested in pursuing a new spring extra-curricular or summer opportunity
  • All resumes are welcome—in whatever state—and having a resume is not necessary to participate

TEEN HANGOUTS

Wednesdays: 2/13, 3/20, 4/17, 5/22
4:40-6:30 pm

The Adler Planetarium’s Teen Hangouts are a monthly hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) workshop series where arts-practice and STEM concepts hangout in harmony. We apply STEM concepts in the application of art-making and art-making in the application of STEM concepts.

Meeting Schedule:

Adler Teen Hangouts is free for any Chicagoland high school teen taking place monthly at the Adler Planetarium, located at 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605. Each Hangout workshop will offer something different. Past participation is never required, and students can attend whenever they are available.

Do it for the folx, for the fun, for the arts, for the sciences, for the culture—for the snacks. For further information please email us at youthprograms@adlerplanetarium.org

The Aquarius Project

In the wee hours of a Monday morning in February of last year, a giant green fireball erupted over Lake Michigan. That fireball was a meteor breaking up in the atmosphere, and the pieces of that meteor are now sitting almost 200 feet below the surface of the lake. In the coming months, an unlikely scientific search-and-rescue team will pile onto a boat, sail out to the crash site, and attempt to retrieve these meteorites.

Youth Organization for Lights Out (YOLO)

Did you know that beautiful orange glow from downtown is actually light pollution? How many stars can you see in your backyard?

Adler Planetarium’s Youth Organization for Lights Out (Y.O.L.O.) is a light pollution awareness, civic action and service-learning program at World Language High School in Little Village. The program is currently an after-school program with an in-class component.

In the classroom: Students learn about the causes and effects of light pollution.

After school club: Students bring awareness to the community by:

  • Observing streetlight changes made by the city of Chicago in their neighborhood;
  • Learning how to use a telescope for solar viewing; and
  • Presenting at the Adler’s annual Earth Fest on why it is important to reduce light pollution

This environmental issue needs your help to reduce light pollution!