The assistantship program is for recent high school and college graduates who have previously participated in at least two Shedd Aquarium teen programs. During this paid experience, participants work alongside Shedd Aquarium professionals. Positions are available during the summer and the school year, in several departments. Assistantships offer a variety of focus areas and responsibilities that allow participants to gain real-world hands-on professional experience.

All assistantship participants will have the opportunity to work with Shedd staff members and interact with other professionals through career workshops, trainings and field trips.

Note: This program typically does not include opportunities for animal contact.

  • To apply to the school year long assistantship program, you must
  • be a recent high school or college graduate
  • have participated in at least two other teen programs with Shedd Aquarium
  • submit a completed application

Teen Learning Lab assistantship

The Teen Learning Assistantship will assist with the day-to-day operations of the Teen Learning Lab space. This will include assisting with programming and project development around teen interest-driven work. This will also include the maintenance and upkeep of a variety of technologies in the lab. Working closely with Teen Learning Lab staff this Assistantship will gain experience in curriculum design, educational technology and learner-driven project management.


Applications for the School Year 2017-2018 season are closed. Check back in December for Summer 2018 applications!


Applicants must be recent high school or college graduates and have participated in at least two previous programs with Shedd Aquarium. 


School year season will run from September 18, 2017 to May 12, 2018.


The time requirement is approximately 10 hours a week; schedules will vary depending on the assistantship position. 

On the Blog

Read a first-hand account of how the assistantship program impacted one participant's life!


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The combination of environmental science, public outreach, art and writing that my assistantship created has kindled a fire in me for connecting others to the environment in emotional and personal ways, and this knowledge of myself and my life goals has helped me research careers that will allow me to fulfill these goals...”


The assistantship gave me a great perspective on all of the teen programs that I participated in from an educator’s perspective. I understand how much effort goes into planning each and every day of every camp or program, and also how amazing it is to see the planning pay off. This experience is also the most future-relevant experience that I have ever had at Shedd, and like the other programs I’ve participated in, it provided me with so many more connections at the aquarium. It has broadened my network and my support group.”


I think this opportunity has really showed me what a people person I am, that I actually like talking in front of crowds, and that this is a great asset to have, and I should definitely utilize it! This assistantship has reassured me that I love working with teens/kids and that I am extremely passionate about the natural world. With this knowledge I hope to one day find a job where I can connect my passions.”