• CiS Interns Poster Session at AGU 2015
  • CiS Interns during New Intern Orientation
  • Teaching about fossils in the Piazza
  • CiS Group Photo with TRex
  • CiS Interns in the Lab
  • Interns conduct a transect at Ocean Beach to monitor sand crabs

Careers in Science is a multi-year, year-round, paid internship and youth development program for San Francisco high school students who come from communities underrepresented in STEM, including girls and students of color.

New! Check out our annual report for inspiring stories and compelling data from 2021.

About Careers in Science

Academy teen showing baleen

Careers in Science interns get paid to learn, teach, and do science in and around the California Academy of Sciences. Interns enter the program in June as rising sophomores or juniors and continue through high school graduation. By demonstrating achievement and reliability, interns may level up to positions of increased leadership and responsibility.

On Saturdays during the school year and weekdays in the summer, all interns conduct fieldwork outdoors and facilitate learning experiences for Academy visitors on the public floor. Interns also attend interactive trainings twice a month to develop science communication skills, learn about careers from practicing STEM professionals, and receive guidance on topics like financial literacy and the college application process. In addition, interns attend college tours, present at STEM conferences and festivals, and help inform the design of Academy exhibits and educational materials.

Level 2 and 3 interns also participate in project groups, in which small groups of students work on a science research or environmental action project led by an Academy researcher or partner. Level 3 interns serve on the CiS Leadership Council and are eligible for individualized mentorships with Academy experts.

Through these experiences and more, CiS helps interns develop the confidence and skills needed to think critically, tackle complex problems, succeed in the workforce, and serve as informed decision-makers in their communities.

PAESMEM award logo

Careers in Science is the proud recipient of the 2022 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentorship.



No experience necessary! To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled full time as a 9th or 10th grade student in an SFUSD school
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 and a grade of C or higher in science and math
  • Be able to obtain a valid work permit (US citizens and others authorized to work in the US)
  • Commit to all attendance requirements for 2 or 3 years, through high school graduation
  • Be able to commute to the Academy and nearby locations after school and on Saturdays during the school year, and on weekdays in the summer (some remote work may be required)
  • Demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for learning, teaching, and doing science

How to apply

Applications will be open from February 3 through April 3, 2023. Group interviews are hosted in May and programming begins in June 2023.

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

We Thank Our Donors
The Careers in Science program is generously supported by an anonymous donor; Barbara and Gerson Bakar; Caroline H. Damsky; Deloitte Foundation; Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Koret Foundation; Angela Nomellini and Kenneth Olivier; Quest Foundation; San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families; The Sato Foundation; and Jane and Bernard Von Bothmer.
Deloitte Foundation wordmark
Koret Foundation logo
Stay connected

Sign up for our Youth Programs mailing list to stay informed about all teen opportunities, including when program applications open.

Program logistics

Grades: 9th - 12th graders
Location: California Academy of Sciences
Time: Afterschool and weekends
Duration: Multi-year, year-round participation

Impacts and outcomes

In 2021, we surveyed alumni from the past 25 years of CiS. Our goal was to measure the impacts of the program. Here’s what we found.

In the press

View program highlights and explore the Academy’s impact on youth interest and engagement in STEM.