• CiS Interns Poster Session at AGU 2015
  • CiS Interns during New Intern Orientation
  • Teaching about fossils in the Piazza
  • CiS Group Photo with TRex
  • CiS Interns in the Lab
  • Interns conduct a transect at Ocean Beach to monitor sand crabs

The Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program is a multi-year, year-round science internship and youth development program for young people from groups typically underrepresented in the sciences.

New! Check out our annual report for inspiring stories and compelling data from 2021.

About Careers in Science

Created in 1996, the Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program provides San Francisco youth from communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) fields with opportunities to immerse themselves in the sciences. Interns develop life and job skills, receive college and career mentorship, and learn science and sustainability concepts in an authentic, paid work environment. CiS provides hands-on science and youth development experiences at the Academy and outdoors while also exposing interns to professional role models and mentors who are leaders in their disciplines.

CiS strives to increase the diversity of the scientific community and change stereotypes surrounding science. As such, the program’s primary target is youth who have an interest and spark in science, who are motivated and able to fulfill the expected time commitment, and for whom the program would provide the guidance and support that would make a critical difference in pursuing a higher education degree and career in a STEM field. Program alumni have earned degrees in numerous STEM fields, including: Biology, Environmental Science, Engineering, Geology, and Public Health.

The Experience
If you share a curiosity for the natural world, from plants to planets, worms to snakes, and everything in between, you should consider applying for a Careers in Science internship. Interns primarily work at our amazing facility in Golden Gate Park and occasionally attend off-site events and field trips. During the COVID-19 global health pandemic, interns are required to work remotely. Primary intern activities include:

  • Learning about science through hands-on trainings, workshops and conferences
  • Teaching science to diverse audiences 
  • Conducting scientific field research and data analysis with Academy experts


To be eligible for the Careers in Science Intern Program, applicants must:

  • Be a 9th or 10th grade student enrolled full time 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 of the program on a year-round, multi-year basis, including afterschool, weekend, and summer work
  • Be able to commute to the Academy in Golden Gate Park for work shifts. During the COVID-19 global health pandemic, interns are required to work remotely
  • Demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for learning, teaching, and conducting science

How to Apply

Recruitment for the Careers in Science program happens once a year in early spring. Applications are released annually in February, with an early April deadline. Applicants go through an interview process to ensure a good fit and commitment to the program. Sign up for our Youth Programs mailing list to stay informed about all teen opportunities, including when program applications open.

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.



Stay Connected

Sign up for our Youth Programs mailing list to stay informed about all teen opportunities, including when program applications open.

Program Logistics

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

Impacts and Outcomes

In 2016, we surveyed alumni from the past 20 years of the program. Our goal was to measure the impacts of the program. Here’s what we found.

In the Press

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

We Thank Our Donors

The Careers in Science program is generously supported by an anonymous donor; Barbara and Gerson Bakar; Caroline H. Damsky; Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education; Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Koret Foundation; Angela Nomellini and Kenneth Olivier; Quest Foundation; San Francisco Department of Children, Youth & Their Families; The Sato Foundation; and Jane and Bernard Von Bothmer.

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