Student Jobs — Explainers Program
Explainers at the National Air and Space Museum inspire life-long learners by connecting them to our iconic artifacts and to stories about the science and technology that make innovation possible. The Explainers Program hires high school and college students to help visitors better understand the Museum’s artifacts and exhibitions through hands-on programming. Explainers work at either the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC or at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Explainers program is made possible through the generous support of GE Aviation.
Explainers engage visitors with hands-on activity carts and interactive demonstrations on topics such as the forces of flight and humans in orbit. Explainers also respond to visitor questions submitted to the How Things Fly website. There’s even the chance to teach people how to land a space shuttle or show them how a space shuttle toilet works!
Explainers are scheduled to work at the Museum in DC seven days a week and at the Udvar-Hazy Center weekends and holidays. Hours at each location are flexible according to your academic schedule.
To be an Explainer, you must:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Currently be enrolled in a diploma or degree granting program
- Maintain a 2.7 GPA
- Work at least 15 hours per month
- Be able to interact with diverse groups of people
- Have good written and oral communication skills
- Be willing to attend ongoing training and conduct self-study in general scientific principles relating to aeronautics and space science
High school students start as volunteer Explainers. After completing 100 volunteer hours, high school students may be considered for paid status based on their performance. College students begin as paid employees.
To be considered for a position as an Explainer, you must submit the following items:
- A completed application form
- A Statement of Purpose — How can you contribute to the program and how would this job assist you in your career and/or educational goals?
- An official high school or college transcript
- Two letters of recommendation
- Indication of which location you are applying to
To be an Explainer you must be a United States citizen with a photo ID, a naturalized citizen with proper documentation, or a non-citizen with proper INS authorization to work in the United States.
An interview will be scheduled after the application package has been received.
Please Note: Incomplete application packages will not be processed or considered.
Don't want to apply online?
Please send your completed application package to your preferred work location:
Museum in Washington, DC
Explainers Program Manager
National Air and Space Museum
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Explainers Program Coordinator
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151