• CiS interns comparing field notes
  • CiS with botany mentor
  • CiS Interns building small prototypes
  • CiS Interns at anthropology internship
  • CiS Interns doing floor work
  • CiS Interns prepping to rock climb

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.

Program logistics

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


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 February 2, 2024 through April 1, 2024.

Selected applicants will be required to attend an in-person group interview on April 27, 2024.

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.


About Careers in Science

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Careers in Science interns get paid above minimum wage 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.

As interns advance through the program, they'll 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. Interns will also 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.


Impacts and outcomes

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

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.

New! Check out our annual report for inspiring stories and compelling data from 2023.

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