Volunteering at The Franklin Institute is a great way to get involved in this fun-filled, interactive museum. By contributing time and expertise, you can learn something new, help others, and, most of all, have fun! The success of many of our programs depends directly on the efforts of our volunteers. Every year, hundreds of people—from students to retirees—participate in our volunteer program.
“Every day brings something new.”
-Rachel, Volunteer since 2007
Please note that the following opportunities are not always available, as volunteer needs change throughout the year. Placement is made by interview only.
Educational Program Assistants
Camp-In: Volunteers are needed to help with our overnight camp program, assisting during check-in and throughout early evening programming. Volunteers are not required to stay overnight. (Friday and Saturday evenings only)
Discovery Camp: Serve as a Counselor-In-Training, assisting the Summer Camp Counselors in all aspects of Discovery Camp. Interested applicants must be available to volunteer for at least three full camp sessions (sessions are one week in length) and attend scheduled training sessions.
Session Dates and Themes (Summer only)
Exhibit Facilitator: Enhance guest experiences in the museum's exhibits by offering assistance with interactive components, facilitating discussions, and engaging guests through "Pocket Science" activities. Volunteers should enjoy working with people of all ages and experience levels.
Exhibit/Program Development: Assist in developing science-related programs. Volunteers should have a well-rounded scientific background, and be able to translate concepts into programs or assist with the prototyping process. Volunteers are typically needed for project-specific tasks. (Weekdays only)
PACTS Mentor: Mentors are needed for this year-round youth leadership program, which focuses on science enrichment, career development, and leadership.
Science Presenter: Facilitate hands-on, interactive cart activities with museum guests and offer educational support in the museum's exhibits. Volunteers should enjoy working with people, have a background in a STEM-related field, and possess excellent public speaking skills. This position requires a 100 hour commitment.
Special Events:Volunteers needed to assist with special events and programs at the Institute. Most events occur in the evening or on the weekends.
Workshops: Assist with preparation and facilitation of various museum workshops, such as Homeschool Workshops and Birthday Parties.
Office and Research Assistants
Administrative Support: Assist in the various offices at the Institute with filing, mailings, copying, data entry, etc. (Weekdays only)
Development and Awards Volunteer Position Description
Curatorial: Work may include inventory, research, cataloging and care of the collections. (Weekdays only)
Library: Clerical support, inventory, research, cataloging books, data entry, and shelving books and periodicals. (Weekdays only)
Research & Evaluation: Work may include interviewing visitors, tallying data, writing reports, and data entry. (Weekdays only)
Summer Volunteer Opportunities for High School Students
There are several exciting summer volunteer opportunities for high school students at The Franklin Institute. Volunteers must be at least 15 years of age. Please review the two opportunities below and submit your application as early as possible. We prefer to have all applications by early May.
Exhibit Facilitator Volunteer Opportunity - FULL for 2016
Enhance guest experiences in the museum's exhibits by offering assistance with interactive components, facilitating discussions, and engaging guests through "Pocket Science" activities. Volunteers should enjoy working with people of all ages and experience levels. Interested applicants must be available to volunteer at least two days per week if only volunteering for the summer. (See position description below for details.)
Exhibit Facilitator Position Description
Volunteer Services Application
Discovery Camp Counselor In Training (CIT) Volunteer Opportunity - FULL for 2016
Discovery Camp is a co-ed summer day camp at The Franklin Institute. The goal is to get campers excited about science and to nurture their spirit of inquiry and discovery. Campers are grouped based on the grade or homeschool level they are entering (typically Pre-K, K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8). CITs work directly with the campers in their classrooms, providing teaching support to the Camp Counselors and ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of all campers. CIT's should also be willing to assist with organizing and distributing camp supplies.
There are two CIT categories:
Discovery Camp CIT Position Description
Discovery Camp Session Dates and Themes
Discovery Camp CIT Volunteer Application
Information Technology: Strong computer knowledge is necessary, including hardware, software, and programming. (Weekdays only)
Operations: Volunteers serve as exhibit device testers. Some knowledge of mechanics or engineering is useful. (Weekdays only)
Theaters: Volunteers should be comfortable working with computers and audio systems, and enjoy working with large groups of people.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to be a volunteer?
- Volunteers must be 15 years of age or older.
- Volunteers should be reliable, have a positive attitude, and enjoy working with people
- Volunteers should have an interest in promoting science education
- Volunteers must be willing to complete all required background checks. Volunteers who will have direct contact with children as part of their position must meet all background clearance requirements before they begin volunteering. The Franklin Institute covers all related fees. Click here for more information about background checks.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work in almost every area of the Institute. Some volunteers:
- Do demonstrations in exhibits
- Work in administrative offices
- Assist with library and curatorial work
- Meet and greet visitors and answer questions
When can I help?
Volunteer opportunities are available seven days a week between 9:00AM and 5:00PM. Weekend opportunities all involve working with the public.
Volunteers may work a half day or full day shift but should be willing to commit to an average of four hours per week (may be arranged for twice a month) for at least six months.
How do I apply?
Download the Volunteer Application and submit it using one of the following options:
- Email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail your application to the address listed on the application.
- Fax your application to 215.448.1314
Volunteer placement is by interview only.
The first step is to complete the application and return it to the Volunteer Office. We will review your application and be in touch if your qualifications meet the needs of our available volunteer opportunities. Feel free to contact the Volunteer Office with any questions. We can be reached at email@example.com or 215.448.1163.
Is training provided to volunteers?
All volunteers receive an orientation through the Volunteer Office. Job-related training is provided by the department in which a volunteer is working.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
Active volunteers receive free admission to the Museum, including IMAX®, Fels Planetarium, and Franklin Theater shows, discounts in museum store and restaurant, invitations to special events, and, when volunteering, free parking or transportation reimbursement. Depending on the number of recorded hours, active year-round volunteers may earn a free membership to The Franklin Institute.