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Employment Opportunities

Summer Science Camp Instructor (Lead, Assistant, or Floater):

Reports To:
Program Manager


Summer Science Camp Instructors support YSI's mission to inspire enthusiasm for science and a love of learning.  Summer Science Camp Instructors will use YSI camp curricula to guide exploration, experimentation, and scientific thinking in even the youngest campers.  YSI Summer Science Camps are offered to children preschool (3 ½ years old) up through entering 6th grade, and each camp is designed for and taught to a specific age group.  Summer Science Camp Instructors work together to make YSI’s Summer Science Camps full of learning, imagination, and fun, including crafts, hikes, experiments, and games. They will also be responsible for communication with other Summer Science Camp Instructors and with camp parents.

Lead Instructors will in charge of planning and implementing lesson plans based on YSI curricula, including set-up and clean-up as well as leading campers through activities.  Assistant Instructors with work with the Lead Instructors to implement lesson plans, including set-up and clean-up as well as leading campers through activities.  The Floater Position will fill in as needed for Lead or Assistant Instructors, including preparation and implementation of camp curricula.  Other Floater duties may include joining a camp for additional camper support, providing breaks for the Summer Science Camp team, assisting in opening and closing activities, supporting set-up and clean-up, and other duties as assigned.

This part-time, seasonal position will be scheduled to work Monday through Friday at YSI’s Vasona Park location. Summer Science Camp Instructors are required to work at least three weeks of YSI Summer Science Camp; weeks do not need to be consecutive. There are a total of 11 weeks of camp June 4th – August 17th, 2018.  Shifts vary by week, with instructors working either morning shifts during camp times or afternoon shifts during extended camp times.  Morning shifts may start at 7:30am or later. Afternoon shifts end by 6pm.  Most shifts are 5 hours (Assistant) or 6 hours (Lead or Floater), but may vary based on camp prep needed. There are additional paid orientation meetings and training sessions required for all camp staff.

Responsibilities Include:
• Teach hands-on environmental, biological, physical, and social science camps and activities in a mostly-outdoor summer camp setting
• Ensure the safety and well-being of children
• Preparation and cleanup for all camps taught, including returning all kits, curricula, and other items to YSI in good condition
• Understand and teach camp materials and curricula provided by YSI
• Exhibit maturity, diplomacy and common sense in working with parents, children, staff, and other YSI constituents
• Maintain indoor and outdoor facilities including cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, and restocking used items
• Positive and enthusiastic customer service with camp families and other visitors
• Performs other duties as assigned by the Program Director or Executive Director

Years of Experience:
2 or more years of experience working with children in informal or formal learning settings; examples: coach, tutor, mentor, teaching assistant, museum guide, interpretive ranger, scout leader, or community volunteer.  Assistants may have 1 or more years experience. Prior summer camp experience a plus.

College degree or coursework in science, education,environmental studies, or comparable experience.

Must have and maintain current certification by a nationally recognized provider of training for adult and child First Aid, CPR, and AED; acquired by end of 1st 30 days at YSI.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:
• Excellent written, verbal, and visual communication skills including excellent customer service skills
• Computer literate in Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs
• Acute attention to detail and accuracy
• Strong organizational skills
• Able to work independently and in a team environment, juggle multiple tasks, and respond to changing priorities
• Able to interface daily with children, parents, the public, and YSI staff in a positive, professional manner
• Excellent people skills and personable, helpful, friendly attitude with ability to listen and respond to questions
• Able to work with, and respond to, the public under pressure
• Ability to understand and follow written and verbal instructions
• Ability to adapt and be flexible as priorities shift, and willing to take on variety of tasks
• Knowledge of Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) preferred
• Passionate and enthusiastic about science education, nature, working with children, and YSI’s mission and values
• Possess a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and have access to a car
• Able to travel locally between the 3 YSI locations in Alum Rock, Vasona, and Sanborn Parks, and other local sites for events and teaching as needed
• Must be over 18 and undergo criminal background checks, including fingerprints, through the database of the California Department of Justice and the national FBI criminal database.  Must also show evidence / verification of a negative TB skin test reading less than four (4) years old
• Must be able to submit hours worked on an electronic timecard daily

Physical Requirements:
• Stand for up to 6 hours
• Move and lift items up to 30 pounds
• See 12-point font and distances of 300 feet
• Walk and hike for up to 1.5 hours and up to 1 mile
• Run and/or jog on flat and hilly surfaces and navigate a 30 degree slope. Surfaces include, but are not limited to grass, gravel, wet and dry surfaces, uneven and/or rocky soil
• Hear children and adult voices
• Communicate clearly and be understood by groups of children and adults for periods of up to 6 hours
• Kneel, bend, and sit occasionally
• Work in varying conditions (indoor and outdoor)

For accommodations to these activities, staff should submit requests to Executive Director.

This position specification is not an employment contract. YSI is an at-will employer. YSI reserves the right to modify, add, or change this specification for the Summer Science Camp instructor positions at any time.

Salary Range:
Assistant Instructor: $12-$14/hour depending on experience
Lead Instructor: $13-$15/hour depending on experience
Floater: $13-$15/hour depending on experience

To Apply: Please email a completed Employment Application and resume to or mail to:

Youth Science Institute
Attn: Program Director
296 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA  95032


Youth Science Institute (YSI) is looking for passionate, dedicated people to join our team of Instructors. At YSI, our instructors work with students leading hands-on activities that are designed to engage students and help students develop critical-thinking skills. As part of the YSI education team, you will gain practical experience working with children and be part of a team that serves nearly 30,000 students per year in Santa Clara County. This part-time, flexible position is ideal for students working towards a degree in education, child development, or a science-related field.

• Assist in the implementation of educational programs at sites throughout Santa Clara County including our 3 Science & Nature Centers (Alum Rock Park, Vasona Lake County Park, Sanborn County Park), school sites, community events, festivals, etc.
• Teach science and place-based lessons to children and adults in an outdoor, field-trip setting
• Set-up before and clean-up following education programs
• Assist with materials preparation for events and education programs
• Maintenance of exhibits
• Maintaining indoor and outdoor facilities
• Handling of live animals (training provided)
• Maintenance and care of live animals (including holidays and weekends)
• Other projects as necessary

• Passionate about science education and working with children
• Able to work in varying conditions (indoor and outdoor)
• Positive and enthusiastic
• Interested in working for a non-profit
• Flexible and willing to take on a variety of tasks
• Able to work autonomously or in a group
• Dedicated to the ideals stated in the Youth Science Institute’s mission

• 2 or more years of experience in a teaching or related field
• A degree in science, education, or environmental studies preferred or equivalent experience
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Computer literate in MS Office Suite
• Can work independently and respond to changing priorities
• Posses a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and have access to a car
• Must undergo criminal background checks, including fingerprints, through the database of the California Department of Justice and the national FBI criminal database. Must also show evidence/verification of a negative TB skin test reading less than two (2) years old.
• Ability to stand for extended periods of time
• Lift up to 30 pounds

Salary Range:
$13-16/hour depending on experience. The field-trip season peaks in the fall and spring, with limited hours available during the winter and summer.

To Apply: Please email a completed Employment Application and resume to or mail to:

Youth Science Institute
Attn: Program Director
296 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA  95032