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Junior Docents



Join us on an adventure in science and stewardship for teens!

June 3– July 26, 2024

WHO: Teens entering 7th through 12th grade in the 2024/25 school year and are ages 13-17 during the summer

WHAT: Join a community of like-minded teens who are curious about science and wanting to hone customer service skills and engage with the public while working as educators in the Museum's exhibit halls. The program is supported and enriched by the active involvement of Museum staff, scientists, curators, and volunteers who share their content expertise and love of their fields with the Junior Docents.

Optional special projects draw on individual’s interests and skills. Applying art, technology, presentation and writing skills to science content are a few areas that the program encourages. 

Special projects can include:

· Developing new activities for the Arthropod and Bat Carts

· Art Cart

· Light Cart

· Space Cart

· Train and conduct Time Tracks Tours, a Junior Docent designed project

The program provides a comprehensive, hands-on, museum experience for middle- and high-school students. JD’s learn about the nature of museums as places of education and entertainment and the many museum career opportunities available. A key feature of the program is the opportunity to work with adult mentors, scientists, and educators while learning about the importance of community engagement. Junior Docents discover that they are part of a large community of teens who are interested in science and education as they are introduced to a wide variety of science and museum-related career possibilities. Our goal is to have students gain a wider appreciation for science and its related fields.

Since Junior Docents began in 1991, more than 1000 teens have participated in the program, representing over 40 schools and home school cooperatives in the area.

The primary qualifications for being a Junior Docent include a curiosity about the world around us, an interest in STEM-topics and a willingness to learn. As well, qualified Junior Docents:

· Are 13 - 17 years (at the start of training week) and entering 7th - 12th grades in fall, 2024

· Will commit to work 50 hours over the course of the summer program: June 7 – July 31. This typically entails a minimum of two 4-hour shifts per week.  Extra shifts and opportunities to participate in special events at the Museum will also be available.

· Illustrate curiosity about science and technology.

· Demonstrate a strong interest in learning and sharing science with each other and Museum visitors.

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Dates for the 2024 Program: 

• Training Week: June 3 – June 6:  All Junior Docents must attend.
• June 7 – July 26: 
 Work in the Museum halls, special events, special projects, and enjoy exclusive Junior Docent events!  Should JDs be virtual this year, work will include delving deeply into the science and sharing content virtually with each other and the broader New Mexico Community through webinars, Blogs and other virtual methods

Fee: $175.00 (Limited financial assistance is available). Contact Kelly White, Junior Docent Coordinator, for more information

How Junior Docents are selected: The Junior Docent Program has a competitive selection process.  Junior Docents are selected on the quality of their application and references; this is NOT a first come, first served selection process.

New applicants to the program are required to submit a complete application and have an interview.

Returning Junior Docents: must apply, but your previous experience in the program will be considered in lieu of an interview. 

How to Apply: All Applicants must download the 2024 Junior Docent Application, complete and return it by March 30, 2024.

New Applicants: All new applicants are required to have an interview as a part of your application process. Dates of New Junior Docent Interviews are April 1-7. Please mark your top three choices for interview times on the application. Your interview time will be confirmed by the Junior Docent Program Coordinator upon receipt of your application.

Submit applications, either electronically or by mail, to

Kelly White, Junior Docent Coordinator
New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
1801 Mountain Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104


Are you a returning JD with an interest in expanding your responsibilities in the program?   Apply to be a Peer Mentor! Peer Mentors are Junior Docents who, in addition to the regular JD duties, will model top-notch customer skills to their peers, assist in training, and be a teen leader with special projects.

Minimum qualifications:

· Participated in the Junior Docent program for at least 2 summers (they do not have to be consecutive summers)

· Must have completed freshman year of high school (or home school equivalent)

· Show initiative, curiosity, and demonstrate a solid understanding of exhibit carts and their background content.

· Illustrated strong ability to work with people of all ages in front line customer service settings.

· Preference will be given to JD’s who work at the Museum during the school year.

Interested Junior Docents must:

· Submit a Peer Mentor Application and interview with the Junior Docent Coordinator. Only a few Peer Mentors will be selected. This application is IN ADDITION to the Junior Docent application and will be submitted to the Junior Docent Coordinator as noted on your application.

· Applications are due by March 30, 2024

· Peer Mentor Interviews are April 1-7. Make sure you have indicated your top three preferred interview times.


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