Internships in Outdoor Education at SCICON
Gain Skills in
SCICON is a resident outdoor education facility located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Springville, California. Each week approximately 200 sixth-grade students come to SCICON for 5 days to learn about science and conservation and to experience nature at its best. Students attend daily instructional trails as well as participate in evening recreational activities. A museum of natural history, planetarium, observatory, raptor rehabilitation center and over 17 miles of trails are just some of the highlights of this beautiful 1,100-acre campus.
As a SCICON intern, you will augment SCICON's professional staff of program specialists, naturalists, and support staff. The Internship Program starts with an in-depth orientation program at SCICON which includes guest speakers and field trips, as well as intensive training workshops.
Once the school program starts, interns rotate through a variety of positions (see Internship Roles) as they work closely with all facets of the program. A variety of inservices are planned throughout the year which include guest speakers on science and educational issues, as well as various field trips and workshops.
Internship Roles at SCICON
Aquatics Trailguide: Lead student groups to explore Bear Creek (a year-round stream on the SCICON campus.) Students learn about aquatic ecology and focus on aquatic insects and the highly visible salamander populations. Interns in the Aquatics Trailguide position work closely with the SCICON Aquatic Naturalist.
Museum/Raptor Center Trailguide: Lead student instructional groups to the SCICON Museum of Natural History to learn about the diverse wildlife and natural resources at SCICON. A visit to the Raptor Center is always a highlight for the students. The Museum/Raptor Center intern works closely with the Museum/Raptor Center Specialist to gain skills in raptor care and handling as well as museum curation.
Tree Nursery Trailguide: Develop lessons using the many hands-on opportunities in the Tree Nursery. Students learn about recycling food waste at the Worm Farm and compost bins. Students learn about food production and agriculture in the Apple Orchard. The life cycle of trees is explored as students collect native seeds and plant new tree seedlings. The Tree Nursery Naturalist works closely with the intern in this position.
Birding Trailguide: Lead instructional groups in discovering the rich and diverse bird life at SCICON. Students learn about bird adaptations, ecological roles, and how to use binoculars and field guides. Interns in the Birding Trailguide position work closely with the SCICON Birding Naturalist.
Geology Trailguide: Working closely with our Geology Naturalist, lead groups of students to learn about earth science concepts such as plate tectonics, erosion, topography and the make-up of the earth. Using nearby geologic formations, and a very popular quartz mine, students get to observe and experience geology first hand.
Astronomy Trailguide: Lead astronomy sessions to teach concepts ranging from our solar system to far-off galaxies. The Astronomy Trailguide has access to a fully equipped planetarium as well as two observatory sites with multiple telescopes. Interns in the Astronomy Trailguide position work closely with the SCICON Astronomy Naturalist.
Village Coordinator: Train, supervise, and evaluate high school-age cabin leaders and the sixth-grade students that are in their cabins. Provide leadership to the "Village" of seven to ten cabins assigned. Village Coordinators work closely with the Lead Teacher and Activity Specialist.
Lodge Coordinator: Supervise and coordinate all meals and activities in the lodge. Learn management of large groups. Learn kitchen and dining hall management procedures. Lodge Coordinators work closely with the Lead Teacher and Activity Specialist.
Lead Intern: Coordinate and supervise evening recreational activities (campfire, folk dance, night hikes, new games, etc.) Coordinate campus activities. Work on special projects. Make school visitations and presentations. Attend off-campus board meetings. The Lead Intern will work closely with the Activity Specialist, Lead Teacher and SCICON Administrator.
Interns rotate through the above mentioned positions as they work intensively with each part of the outdoor school program. Interns must have a high energy level and a real love for children and the out-of-doors. Days are long and varied. Occasional weekend duties are required. Everyone, no matter what their position, pitches in until the job is done. "SCICON is people working together."
The SCICON students come from sixth-grade classrooms across Tulare County, California. Tulare County is a rural agricultural area. The students that attend represent every ethnicity and economic level. Even though the students live close to the Sierra Nevada mountains, for many of them this is their first experience away from their hometown into the beauty of nature. Our goals for these students are: (1) to experience nature firsthand and develop a sense of appreciation for the natural world; (2) to strengthen student learning of science and ecological concepts through hands-on outdoor activities; (3) to have a positive social living experience in a group setting; (4) and to consider the challenge of the wise use of natural resources for present and future generations.
SCICON's goal for the internship is that you will gain a comprehensive experience and wide-ranging skills in outdoor education program operation. We feel this breadth of skills and experience is a vital foundation for those serious about a career in outdoor education or education. SCICON maintains a long-term relationship with those who have completed internships. SCICON is very committed to helping current and former interns reach their career goals. Former SCICON interns are very successful in the fields of education, science education and environmental education. Click here to find out about former interns and how their training and experience at SCICON has helped their careers. A California teaching credential program is available for those interested in obtaining a teaching certificate.
Interns must be able to lead groups of students over rough terrain during both day and night, lead vigorous hikes, and speak fluent English (bilingual skills welcomed). Interns must be available to live on campus, August through June. (No housing is available for couples or families.) Click here to view a complete job description of the Outdoor Education Internship.
Internships are available each fall for the school year (mid-August thru June). Applications may be submitted anytime. Hiring for the coming school year will begin February 1 and will be completed when all positions are filled. To be considered for an interview an applicant must submit:
Completed applications, resumes or reference forms may be mailed to:
P.O. Box 339
Springville, CA 93265
Questions? Contact the SCICON office at (559) 539-2642 or e-mail Rick Mitchell, Program Director or Dianne Shew, Program Specialist.
Tulare County Office of Education
P.O. Box 339
Springville, CA 93265
Rick Mitchell, Administrator
fax: (559) 539-2643
County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
2637 West Burrel
P.O. Box 5091
Visalia, CA 93278-5091
phone: (559) 733-6300
fax: (559) 627-5219
TTY (hearing impaired): (559) 733-6307
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