- Please read about how to submit your application on our website. We will not review applications submitted via Handshake; we will only review applications submitted via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment Database.
- This internship is a virtual experience.
- All accepted interns will have the option to apply for an internship stipend based on disclosed financial need after their selection.
The intern will work closely with curatorial and audience engagement staff at the National Museum of American History to support the development “historic decisions” deliberation guides. These guides are developed in partnership with the Kettering Foundation with the goal of fostering civic engagement dispositions and deliberative discussion skills among middle and high school students. The intern will conduct research, identify primary sources, and assist with testing and prototyping to help the museum develop and publish at least two of these guides. The intern’s research will focus on two areas: (1) struggles for educational equity in the 1960s and 1970s, and (2) Japanese American Incarceration during World War II. These topics will serve as the basis for the two new deliberation guides. The intern’s primary work will be conducting research related to the setting and deliberative question of each guide, which will be determined in collaboration with the project team. The intern will receive guidance on how to write shape their research into a brief that supports deliberation practice. Intern suggestions and input about stories, objects, new directions, and intellectual areas of focus within this the museum’s deliberative framework are most welcome. Research can be independent or highly guided, depending on the intern’s experience and desire for capacity-building and mentorship. As part of the project team, the intern will engage with education and curatorial staff, as well as K-12 students and teachers.
Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experience that aims to help an undergraduate or graduate student learn about museum practices, critical analysis of texts and objects, as well as how to use visual and material culture to encourage deliberation and civic participation. The intern will cultivate critical thinking skills about visual and material culture, engage in significant research, and synthesize large amounts of data into digestible chunks of information. They will end the internship with a deeper understanding about what it means to work in a large museum like NMAH and to serve K-12 audiences across the nation.
Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:
- Learn about historic deliberations and civic engagement programming
- Learn how to use museum resources to support civic education
- Participate in the production of educational materials
Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:
- Conduct research
- Identify primary sources
- Assist with conducting test forums/resource prototyping
Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:
- Strong research skills
- Good communication skills.
- Ideally a history or English major
- Experience working with K-12 audiences a plus
Audience: This internship can be generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, or specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.
Timeline: This internship will take place during Summer 2021. This internship is expected to be full time.
Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.
Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.
Financial Information: This opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $8,000 for a 40 hours per week internship schedule. Additionally, upon selection, interns will interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month’s expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.
If you have any questions about the internship, please contact Caroline Fiertz, Interns & Fellows Program Manager at the National Museum of American History, at NMAHintern@si.edu or 202-633-3556.