Learning Planning and Evaluation Internship

The Learning Planning & Evaluation intern will have the opportunity to contribute to the efforts of a large informal science education department while working closely with the Research Associate in the Learning Planning & Evaluation department. Specifically, the intern will gain insight into how the department plays a role in the strategic planning and evaluation of learning programs, as well as how the department helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This internship is designed for students with a strong interest in learning theory and/or evaluation. Interns will gain experience with how to apply learning theory to practice and how to evaluate the outcomes. The intern will play a valuable supporting role in the Learning Group, but will not have the opportunity to teach education programs.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values. 
  • Opportunity to hone professional skills that relate to the field of education (and related fields), which may include conducting literature reviews, writing research narratives, and learning how to collect program evaluation data.
  • Apply the skills and knowledge learned in an academic setting to the everyday efforts of Shedd’s Learning Programs, to help prepare for future professional opportunities.
  • Contribute to education-related projects that can be tailored to some degree to meet the intern’s interests. Possible project topics could include data collection and analysis, informal science instructional strategies, digital curricula, learning through the use of “big data,” and data visualization/infographics.
  • Learn from other interns and staff members through informal seminars.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • The intern should currently be enrolled in graduate school or at least in the third year of undergraduate study, studying education or a related field (e.g., psychology or sociology).
  • Working knowledge of education and learning theory is required.
  • Ability to efficiently retrieve general information using the Internet and proficiency at searching academic catalogs or databases is required.
  • Ability to evaluate sources for credibility, validity, and relevance is required.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to synthesize information.
  • Previous experience with academic writing style, including proper citation, is necessary.
  • A research writing sample (e.g., literature review or abstract) not to exceed 10 pages must be submitted.

Preferred qualifications include:
• Informal education experience.
• Experience conducting original research/generating data.
• Experience working with qualitative data.
• Knowledge or experience with fields outside of education such as psychology, sociology, business, design, technology, etc.

Desired year in school: Graduate student preferred, but at least a third-year undergraduate student

Desired Majors: Education or related fields; psychology, sociology, and sciences also acceptable

Time Commitment: Three to four month commitment with some flexibility on start date (mid-September/early October) and end date (late December/early January).  A yearlong internship may be possible.  This internship requires a minimum of  12 hours per week.  Ideally, the intern will be available on Thursdays at 11 am – 12 pm and 3 pm – 4 pm in order to attend Learning Group meetings, but this is not a requirement.

Completed Applications

Send your complete application packet to: internship@sheddaquarium.org.

You may also mail or fax your application to:

Internship Program
Attn: Volunteer Services
John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

Fax: 312-939-4895

Application Materials

• Completed Application

• A cover letter

• A resume outlining your academic and professional experience

• Two (2) letters of recommendation

• Research writing sample (e.g., literature review or abstract) not to exceed 10 pages


For more information, please email internship@sheddaquarium.org.