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Science-U

Employment

Welcome to the Science-U employment application page!

Full job descriptions and requirements for all of our available roles are below. Reach out to us at sciencecamps@science.psu.edu with any questions.

You can also check out our 2022 Science-U camp brochure to learn more about the exciting camps we are planning for this summer! 

Here's what 2019 staff members wrote about Science-U!

  • Making connections with people from a variety of disciplines was awesome! Connecting with campers on an individual level was a great experience for a future teacher. (Science-U Curriculum Mentor)

  • Science-U was a rewarding experience! I learned about exciting topics in science, alongside awesome kids and mentors. Not only did I have a fun summer, I also developed essential skills for my future. (Science-U Curriculum Mentor)

  • Science-U is an extremely inspirational experience for everyone involved! (Science-U Evening Mentor, Recent PSU Graduate)

  • Working for Science-U is a very unique experience. It’s fun and very rewarding. I really enjoyed working at the office and getting to know everyone there. The staff is just amazing! They are respectful, helpful, and friendly. (Science-U Program Assistant, PSU Rising Senior)

  • I have worked as a director at Science-U for four years. It is the highlight of my summer to work with the program and staff to create a fun and engaging camp! The staff is extremely helpful and makes sure that everything runs smoothly before, during and after camp week. (Science-U Camp Director/ PSU Graduate Student)

Application Process

Review the position descriptions below to decide which position(s) you would like to apply for. Before clicking the appropriate link to submit your application, make sure to prepare the following items:

  1. Cover letter explaining why you would be a good fit for Science-U
  2. Resume detailing previous related work experience
  3. The names and contact information of two references (These can be included in your resume or cover letter.)

Positions

The following are the positions that the Science-U team will be hiring for via Penn State Workday. Please see the descriptions of each role and application links in the sections below.  

Available Science-U Positions

The Office of Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science is currently seeking enthusiastic applicants for Curriculum Mentor positions for the Science-U summer science camp program.  Successful applicants will engage and educate K-12 youth in high energy, hands-on science experiences for our campers during the camp season at the University Park, PA campus. Applicants must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be prepared to fulfill all job duties related to the Curriculum Mentor position which include:

  • delivering science content to K-12 children

  • leading laboratory or field activities to facilitate development of science inquiry skills

  • managing camper safety

  • other duties as assigned.

Requirements: Demonstrated success and enthusiasm with K-12 students, excellent interpersonal, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, experience working with children, and the ability to multi-task and learn on-the-job. Must be a proactive self-starter with willingness to adapt to changing position requirements. Reliability and flexible schedule (including occasional weekend hours and possibly evenings during the months of June and July) are essential. Schedule will be communicated well in advance.  First Aid/CPR certification preferred.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE

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Curriculum mentor with campers.

The Office of Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science is currently seeking enthusiastic applicants for Evening Mentor positions for the Science-U summer science camp program. Successful applicants will be responsible for arranging and supervising evening activities for residential campers outside of daily camp program hours on the University Park, PA campus. These positions are ideal for students who want to have daytime hours free for class or lab work. Applicants must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be prepared to be responsible for

  • overnight supervision of residential campers

  • organize evening activities

  • manage camper safety.

Requirements: These positions are open to any undergraduate or graduate student who is at least 18 years of age and in good standing with his/her university. You need to be capable of sustaining a fun and exciting environment for young people aged 10 to 18. You must be prepared to live in the dormitories from Sunday evenings through Friday mornings of every applicable week of camp. You will supervise campers from 4:00 p.m. through the night to 9:00 a.m. the following morning. First Aid/CPR certification preferred.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE!

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Evening mentors with artwork activity.

The Office of Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science is currently seeking enthusiastic applicants for Extended Care Mentors for the Science-U summer science camp program. Successful applicants will contribute to creating positive camp experiences for our campers during the camp season on the University Park, PA campus.  Applicants must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be prepared to fulfill all job duties related to the Extended Care Mentor position, which include supervising campers in morning and afternoon extended care hours. These positions are ideal for students who want to have daytime hours free for class or lab work.

Requirements: Demonstrated success and enthusiasm with K-12 students, excellent interpersonal, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, experience working with children, and the ability to multi-task and learn on-the-job. Must be a proactive self-starter with willingness to adapt to changing position requirements. Reliability and flexible schedule during the months of June and July are essential. Schedule will be communicated well in advance.  First Aid/CPR certification preferred.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE!

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A mentor and camper having fun after camp.

The Office of Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science is currently seeking enthusiastic applicants for Lab Coordinator positions for the Science-U summer science camp program. Successful applicants will contribute to creating high-energy, hands-on science experiences for our campers during the camp season on the University Park, PA campus. Applicants must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be prepared to fulfill all job duties related to the Lab Coordinator position, which include:

  • organizing materials and supplies

  • preparing and implementing experiments

  • conducting inventory and clean-up

  • other duties as assigned

Requirements: Demonstrated success and enthusiasm with K-12 students, excellent interpersonal, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, experience working with children, and the ability to multi-task and learn on-the-job. Must be a proactive self-starter with willingness to adapt to changing position requirements. Reliability and flexible schedule (including occasional weekend hours and possible evenings during the months of June and July) are essential. Schedule will be communicated well in advance.  First Aid/CPR certification preferred.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE!

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Lab coordinator getting ready for a Science-U camp.

The Office of Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science is currently seeking enthusiastic applicants for Summer Program Assistants for the Science-U summer science camp program. Successful applicants will contribute to creating high-energy, hands-on science experiences for our campers during the camp season on the University Park, PA campus. Applicants must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be prepared to fulfill all job duties related to the Summer Program Assistant position, which include:

  • assisting the administrative team in preparing materials for opening and closing ceremonies

  • maintaining various databases

  • assisting with marketing efforts such as the Science-U newsletter

  • providing on-site assistance at all camps

  • other duties as assigned

Requirements: Demonstrated success and enthusiasm with K-12 students, excellent interpersonal, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, experience working with children, and the ability to multi-task and learn on-the-job. Must be a proactive self-starter with willingness to adapt to changing position requirements. Reliability and flexible schedule (including occasional weekend hours and possible evenings during the months of June and July) are essential. Schedule will be communicated well in advance.   First Aid/CPR certification preferred.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE!

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Summer Program Assistants help prepare for staff training sessions.

The Office of Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science is currently seeking enthusiastic applicants for Videographer positions in the Science-U summer science camp program.

For assigned camps, Science-U videographers are expected to take the necessary digital movie footage of Science-U campers and staff during program hours, edit video footage to create short films with closed captioning for future marketing or digital outreach utilization, and deliver completed video(s) by dates determined with the Science Outreach Director. Videographers will discuss filming, editing, and delivery schedules as well as the expectations for finished video products with the Science Outreach Director before each camp they are assigned. Videographers are expected to be efficiently responsive to Science Outreach staff comments on videos before finalizing videos and posting them to requested social media channels. Individuals should be punctual, creative, dynamic, and know how to use Final Cut Pro or Premier editing software or have skills in other software to produce quality videos under time-sensitive deadlines.

Requirements: Demonstrated success with and enthusiasm for K-12 students, excellent interpersonal, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multi-task and learn on-the-job. Must be a proactive self-starter with willingness to adapt to changing position requirements. Reliability and flexible schedule (including weekend hours and evenings) are essential.

For more information and to apply, please CLICK HERE!

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Videographer getting some help to stay dry in the rain.

If you are interested in volunteering, or you are a faculty member or K-12 teacher interested in directing or instructing a camp, please reach out to Tim Gleason (tgg119@psu.edu).

    Interviews 

    Interviews will be taking place until positions are filled. Interviews will be held in Room 247 Ritenour Building, or via Zoom if preferred.  Business professional attire is expected. Positions are filled as interviews are conducted. You are encouraged to apply early!

    Initial offers will be extended in February and March, yet interviews will be ongoing until all positions are filled. You are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible to maximize your chance of receiving an interview and position offer.

    Addition Resources:

    Do you need a volunteer experience? Whether you are a college student or a professional looking to get involved with kids, marketing, or program organization Science-U volunteers play a crucial role in the implementation of all our camps!

    Volunteer

    If you are interested in volunteering at a Science - U summer camp please contact us. We welcome the opportunity to meet with potential volunteers.

    Science - U is dedicated to advancing the teaching skills and scientific knowledge for all students and especially for students majoring in science, science education, and education.

    Education majors who volunteer with Science - U camps will also receive hours toward both C&I 295 credit as well as credit needed to declare major (80 hours for Act 48) by second semester of sophomore year.

    Volunteers may help with any or all ! To view the available camps visit the Science-U Camp Brochure.
     

    Clearances, Background Check, and Mandated Reporter Training

    All staff and volunteers working with minors at Penn State via Science-U must complete all required background checks, clearances, and child abuse training. For more information review the Clearances, Background Check, and Mandated Reporter Training Tab below.

    A Science Camp Staff's Role: Over-Managing the Details

    Science-U staff training has always included an 'above-and-beyond' effort to educate Science-U staff and instructors about daily processes, camper safety protocols, pedagogy, and methods to design and establish successful learning environments.

    Our staff is held accountable and is always challenged to uphold the highest level of excellence when it comes to providing a safe, creative, and immersive learning experience for all participants. Please contact us for more information on our advanced staff training and preparation.

    At Science-U we are constantly looking for ways to improve both our camper and staff experience. Each year we revisit ways we can enhance both the curriculum and the delivery of the science to create unforgettable learning experiences for children. What's the secret to successfully doing this? - The staff! At Science-U staff training, you will learn the secrets to bringing science ideas and dreams to life.

    The summer science camps have evolved over the last 15 years at Penn State in many ways. They are each very individual curricula, and the directors and staff are encouraged to diverge from the traditional chalk and talk science or math class and infuse creativity, innovation and lots of room for staff-to-camper engagement.

    Just like Walt Disney once said "People can feel perfection," quality is in the imperceptible things that campers might not even know they are part of. Whether it means adding extra materials to make an experiment closer to 'the real thing' or acting the part of a crazed scientist to understand why we try different experiments, devotion to creativity lets campers (and their parents) know they are worth the effort. This is what creates the magic that campers will remember for years to come. 

    Science-U Staff Training

    Founded upon the principles of creativity and innovation exemplified by the academic faculty in the College of Science, Science-U fosters and organizes the creative energy of its employees with great success. Staff Training has three prongs, that once completed, help to shape the well-rounded staff we host each summer. The three training sessions are:

    1) Science-U Online Training (Canvas - staff members will be given access)

    The online training should be completed before attending the other two training sessions. It provides an overview of the program, as well as an overview of teaching and learning for kids of all ages. 

    2) Sharing the Vision Training Session (April - exact date/time shared with hired staff closer to date)

    The entire staff will come together to meet and get on the same page about the upcoming summer events. 

    3) Science-U Staff In-Person Training Session (June 16 & 17, 2022)

    At this training session, staff will learn techniques to engage campers and learn how to unearth fresh strategies that empower children to think deeply and solve real world problems. They will also engage in activities that build effective communication skills, science advocacy, teamwork, and leadership. The training wraps up with a staff picnic to meet all of the camp directors and instructors before launching into summer camp!

    The Penn State University Clearance Process:

    The Eberly College of Science's Office of Science Outreach is committed to ensuring the safety of our program participants, our staff and our volunteers. All staff and volunteers working with minors at Penn State via Science-U must complete all required background checks, clearances, and child abuse training. Click here for detailed information about these requirements. 

    The Eberly College of Science Outreach Office is committed to ensuring the safety of our program participants, our staff, and our volunteers. As a condition of employment with Science-U, individuals must obtain the following publicly available background clearances as required by Pennsylvania state law and Penn State University Human Resources policies. Volunteers who will be having extended contact with you during an outreach program are also required to get these clearances:

    • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check (SP4-164)
    • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY-113) 
    • Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Background Check (Criminal History Report)  
       
    • Employment and volunteering with the Eberly College of Science outreach program is contingent upon completion of these clearances and it is suggested that individuals start the process as soon asan offer of employment or volunteer position has been received and accepted.

       

      **NOTE: As of Nov 28th, 2017, the State of Pennsylvania changed the vendor it uses for the FBI fingerprint clearance process. Please consult the updated guidance below before beginning the clearance process!**

       

      Already Have Your Clearances? 

      • If you have previously completed these three background clearances and need to turn them in for volunteering*, please bring the ORIGINAL copies to the Eberly College of Sciences Human Resources Office in 512 Thomas Building to see if they are current and valid. If they are valid, an HR Consultant will make copies to keep on file - make sure to keep your original copies!
      • If you have previously completed these three background clearances and need to turn them in for paid employment* purposes, you will receive an email from PSU HR Shared Services instructing you to bring them in to the HR Shared Service Center (331 Building in Innovation Park.) Once you receive this email, you will take the ORIGINAL copies of your clearances to the HR Shared Service Center for validation and copying. 
        • *Please note that you must have your clearances done for employment in order to use them for employment purposes. If you had your clearances done for volunteering previously and need them now for employment, you will need to reapply for your clearances and select “Employment” as the reason for needing the clearances.
      • Please note that FBI Fingerprint Clearances done through the Department of Education can only be accepted if the fingerprints were completed with the new fingerprint vendor (IDEMIA) in January 2018 or later.
      • If you have any question about whether the clearances are acceptable, please contact the Eberly College of Science Human Resources Office at ecos-hr@psu.edu.

       

      If you are volunteering for an event but are a paid employee of Penn State (including graduate assistantships and fellowships), you will need to obtain clearances for PAID EMPLOYMENT.

       

      Instructions for Obtaining Clearances: 

      • Click here to find a document of instructions for obtaining these publicly available clearances.
      • As of June 1, 2018, the FBI fingerprint location in State College has changed to 426 S Allen St. The instructions in the link above list this correct address, but if you are referencing an old copy of the clearance instructions you may have the wrong address.
      • Please note that the FBI Fingerprint Clearance results ONLY come via paper mail. They do not send any digital notifications or copies of results. The mailed clearance will be sent to the personal address you list in your application, not your business/work address.
      • Contact outreach@science.psu.edu if you have any questions. 

       

      Clearance Costs and Reimbursement:

      • If you are obtaining these clearances for volunteer* purposes, The PA Criminal Background Check and the PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form will be free. Volunteers still have to pay to do the FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check, but will be reimbursed if they bring that receipt to Karen in 217 Ritenour Building.
      • If you are obtaining the clearances for paid employment*, there is a fee for each of these clearances which must be paid by credit or debit card at the time they are submitted.  The total cost will be $53. Penn State faculty and staff who obtain these clearances for paid employment can get reimbursed if they turn the receipts in to their department’s financial assistant.  For Science-U employees who are not Penn State faculty/staff (e.g., students), this cost will be built into your stipend. Should you receive results that prevent you from working with youth or you do not follow through with the terms of your Employment Agreement, the cost for these clearances will NOT be covered by the Eberly College of Science.

       

      If you are volunteering for an event but are a paid employee of Penn State (including graduate assistantships and fellowships), you will need to obtain clearances for PAID EMPLOYMENT.

       

       

      Where to Take Completed Clearances:

      • If you completed the clearances for volunteer (unpaid) purposes: When you have received the results of each of these clearances, take the originals to the Eberly College of Science Human Resources Office in 512 Thomas Building.  A copy of your clearances will be made there and you should keep the originals.
      • If you completed the clearances for employment purposes: You will receive an email from PSU HR Shared Services instructing you to bring them in to the HR Shared Service Center (331 Building in Innovation Park.) Once you receive this email, you will take the ORIGINAL copies of your clearances to the HR Shared Service Center for validation and copying. A copy of your clearances will be made there and you should keep the originals.

       

      Periodic updates or additional background checks:

      • Penn State retains the right to conduct relevant background checks of current employees when it has reasonable grounds to do so, e.g., a workplace incident has occurred, upon self-disclosure of criminal activity or upon the University being informed of such activity, or upon a change of assignment.
      • Science-U employees are required to notify the Eberly College of Science Human Resources representative of an arrest (charged with a misdemeanor or felony) or conviction for an offense enumerated in the Penn State Arrest or Conviction self-disclosure form within 72 hours of knowledge of the arrest or conviction. The Penn State Arrest and Conviction self-disclosure form provides the list of arrests and/or convictions that must be disclosed and this form must be used to provide the information in writing to the appropriate Human Resources representative. Failure to report such incidents may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
      • If you have any questions or concerns about the background check process, please contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Human Resources at (814) 863-6216 or via email at ecos-hr@psu.edu.

       

       

      Background Clearance Laws

      Effective July 1, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1276 into law as Act 15 amending PA Title 23: Domestic Relations, Ch.63: Child Protective Services. The Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law requires employees who have contact with children in youth programs sponsored by Penn State to obtain the following background clearances (These clearances are in addition to the standard background check that must be completed by all Penn State employees through the Penn State Office of Human Resources).
       

      Penn State's "Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Child Abuse" Training

      This training must be completed by employees each year. (The training certificate expires 365 days after the date the training was completed.) The training must be completed in order to learn how to recognize child abuse and how to properly report child abuse. This is a 1 hour online training. Provided below is a link to instructions for accessing and completing the training. 

      How to Take the Training:

      • Go to the Learning Resource Network (LRN) page at http://lrn.psu.edu/
      • Log in: If you are not a PSU employee, click "Volunteer/Other". You will then be able to login with your existing LRN username/password or create an account. If you are a PSU employee, click "Faculty, Staff, & Wage". You will be able to either login with your PSU Access Account or create an LRN username/password if you do not have an Access Account.  (If this does not work, please see troubleshooting tips below.)
      • Once you have logged in, search for "Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Child Abuse" in the upper right-hand corner. The training should appear.
      • If you HAVE taken the training in past years, click "Request", NOT "Launch". This will make sure that a new instance of the training opens. If you have NOT taken the training before, simply click "Launch".
      • Once you have completed the training, send your certificate of completion to sciencecamps@science.psu.edu 

       

      Troubleshooting Tips - Try these if you are having issues accessing the training!

      • If you've already taken the training and need to retake it to get an updated certificate,click "Request" not "Launch".  This will open a new session of the training that will allow you to get an updated 
      •  If you have NOT made an LRN account before: Click 'New Employee' --> 'Create LRN Account'. Fill in the requested info on the next screen. For email, use your PSU email. When finished, click "Login" and you should be able to access the LRN site and search for the "Building a Safer Penn State" training. If you need to leave and log back in later, you should be able to click the "Faculty, Staff, & Wage" login option and then select "Login with Access Account"
      • If you HAVE created an LRN account before and cannot access:  If you were trying to login through the "Faculty, Staff, & Wage" option and are unable to get access when you click "Login with Access Account", try exiting and reopening lrn.psu.edu. Then click the "Volunteer/Other" button, click "Volunteer/Other Login", and then click "Login" by the "Have a Penn State Access Account?" question that appears at bottom right. If the above step does not work, your account may be inactive. Call the Office of Workplace Learning & Performance at 814-865-8216 and ask them to check if your account can be reactivated. (You will likely need to provide your 9-digit PSU ID number.)
      • Call the ITS Help Desk at 814-865-4357 if you continue to have trouble accessing the training. This could mean that there are issues with your LRN account.

    Questions?

    Learn More about the Office of Science Outreach Here

    Contact us via email at outreach@science.psu.edu or give us a call at (814) 865-0509

     Office of Science Outreach, 201 Ritenour Building, University Park, PA 16802