Science Camp Instructor - Temporary

Lisle, IL
Part Time

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned nonprofit dedicated to protecting and growing trees locally and globally. We are seeking experienced teachers to join our team, leading campers in interactive summer adventures. The ideal candidate will have experience teaching in a formal or informal setting, a passion for the outdoors and nature, and enjoy leading hands-on exploration.  You’ll be part of an incredible team working together to make the Arboretum exceptional.

Position Summary: Teach school aged children science and nature-discovery activities related to the Arboretum’s remarkable and varied natural areas and seasonal exhibits. Develop science curriculum for each camp, under the guidance of the Science Camp and Scout Programs Supervisor, utilizing education design standards. Lead groups of up to 15 students in assigned grade level from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. Along with an assistant, guide students on engaging and fun hiking trips on the Arboretum’s grounds and facilitate outdoor and indoor science discovery activities, incorporating scientific tools such as collection nets, microscopes, binoculars, etc. 

 Essential Functions: 

  • Represent The Morton Arboretum's mission and programs in a positive, constructive, and effective manner.
  • Develop and/or deliver engaging and age-appropriate lesson plans, to be reviewed by the Science Camp and Scout Programs Supervisor, covering science-related topics for weeklong camp experiences for up to 15 students in specified age group.
  • Use engaging and fun interpretive and inquiry-based teaching strategies to convey specified science-related topics.
  • Work closely with the Science Camp Assistant to coordinate each day’s activities, develop activities which incorporate the assistant’s participation/help, and serve as a mentor/coach for Science Camp Assistants and Youth Volunteer participants. 
  • Become familiar/comfortable with hiking a variety of trails on the Arboretum grounds.
  • Interact with parents and guardians of students in a professional, courteous, and responsive manner.
  • Support Summer Science Camp’s inclusion practices with the assistance of the Inclusion Coordinator.   
  • Become familiar with the Arboretum’s mission, history, programs, and structure. 
  • Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in the discipline of education, interpretation or natural sciences required. 2+ years teaching children in a formal or non-formal setting required. Certified teachers preferred. Basic knowledge of science-related topics required. Must become certified and maintain certification in First Aid and CPR (classes provided). 

Success Factors: Ability to engage and excite children about the natural world. Good verbal skills and an enthusiasm toward learning. Ability to maintain interest and discipline of up to 15 students during a weeklong camp experience. Flexible, constructive, and courteous approach to parents, children, and summer science camp staff. Stamina and ability to participate in outdoor programs in various weather conditions. 
Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity:  limited lifting and carrying (up to 15 lbs.), hiking, kneeling, ability to travel over one mile on paved, wood-chipped, and dirt paths over varied and uneven terrain.
  • Work Environment: Work is performed in a combined indoors and outdoors environment, in various weather conditions.
  • Equipment: General office equipment, scientific tools, microscopes, handheld GPS unit, two-way radio, educational materials, appropriate protective clothing. 
  • Schedule:  The position requires availability for seven of the ten weeks of camp, attending a mandatory orientation meeting, two additional training sessions, and weekly staff meetings. 

Availability requirements for 2024

  • Must be available to attend a mandatory in person summer camp orientation meeting on Saturday, May 4th from 9:00a.m.-2:00 p.m. and at least one open house training on May 9th 4:00 p.m.-7:00p.m., May 14th 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., May 23rd 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., or May 25th 10:00 a.m-2:00p.m.
  • Must be available to work seven out of the nine weeks of camp, five days a week (8:30am-12:15pm, 8:30 am-3:15pm, or 11:45am-3:45pm depending on grade level and camp session) for assigned weeks (opportunities available June 3-August 16th, no camp the week of July 4th). 
  • A mandatory all-staff meeting (for each week of camp) is held every Monday morning at 8:00am (for full day and morning camps) or at 11:15am (for afternoon camps).

For consideration, please include a cover letter and resume with your application.

The hiring rate is $17.00/hour

The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

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