Volunteer Program

Special Opportunities

Spark!Lab Ambassador 

Work with museum visitors in Spark!Lab, a hands-on invention space for children and families that opened on July 1, 2015. Spark!Lab Ambassadors will play an active role in:
  • Facilitating Meaningful Visitor Experiences: welcoming a diverse group of visitors and engaging in inquiry-based discovery at a variety of hands-on activity stations; using creative methods to inspire and encourage children's and family's interest in the invention process.
  • Assisting daily facility operations in Spark!Lab: getting the space and hands on activities ready for visitor use; helping with some routine maintenance necessary to keep the innovation and imagination flowing!
If You are Good at and Enjoy...
  • tinkering, experimenting, asking questions, constructing and deconstructing things to figure out how they work
  • interacting with diverse audiences, age groups and learning styles
  • working in an often busy and changing environment
If You Have...
  • some experience working in a hands-on, informal education space
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • an interest in invention, history, and science
If You are Able to...
  • commit to at least two 4-hour shifts a month, including weekends and holidays...
  • handle frequent walking, standing, bending and lifting... 
Applications are currently being accepted. To apply, find the listing in the Smithsonian's Long-term Volunteer Opportunities page. Or contact Laurel Miller at MillerL@si.edu or 202.633.7304 to request an application. 

Museum Ambassador Program 

Please note: While applications may be submitted anytime, we do not expect to train another ambassadors class in the immediate future

Join the Museum's Ambassador  Corps!

In 2014, our Museum Ambassadors helped over 100,000 people get the most out of their visits. So what do they do?

Museum Ambassadors complement our docents and information desk volunteers by orienting and welcome arriving visitors and groups, circulating throughout the Museum's public zones to answer basic questions, directing visitors to programs and exhibitions of interest, assisting with crowd control and line management, and implementing brief visitor surveys.

To apply, find the listing in the Smithsonian's Long-term Volunteer Opportunities page. 

Docent Program  

Please note: While applications may be submitted anytime, we do not expect to train another docent class until fall 2015

Do you love to tell—and listen to—a good story? Is "meeting people" your idea of a good time? Are you the "unofficial" tour guide for your friends and family? If so, then consider becoming a docent at the Museum!

Docents support the Museum's collections, research, and exhibitions by staffing interactive carts, assisting visitors in selected exhibitions, giving Highlights Tours, and facilitating hands-on activities. Thousands of visitors—from local communities, across the nation, and around the world—benefit from docent-led activities each year. The program is designed to offer all visitors an exciting and engaging experience that stimulates conversation, promote an appreciation of the nation's history, and deepen the understanding of what it means to be an American.

If you are interested in joining this dynamic, motivated group, and providing an indispensable service to thousands of visitors, we welcome your application.

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Information Specialist Program
Managed centrally through the Office of Visitor Services, Volunteer Information Specialists provide information services to museum visitors at Museum information desks or to persons telephoning the Institution for assistance. In addition to welcoming visitors, museum desk volunteers provide a broad range of information about the Smithsonian—its exhibitions, activities, and services—and general information on other popular attractions in Washington, D.C. Telephone information volunteers respond to inquiries that pertain to the full range of Smithsonian activity, forward calls to either offices or staff members as appropriate, and fulfill a variety of requests for printed information. Learn more about becoming a Volunteer Information Specialist.

Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Program 

Also managed through VIARC, the Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Program provides assistance to Smithsonian staff by recruiting and placing individuals who wish to contribute their time and expertise to specific areas of study within the Institution. Volunteers in this program work with staff members on both short-term and long-term projects. Opportunities are generally available in: archives; libraries; administrative offices; conservation laboratories; and curatorial divisions related to art, history, and science collections. Learn more about becoming a Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer.

The Smithsonian is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.