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Youth Science Institute

Los Gatos, CA, USA

Instructors advocate YSI's mission to inspire a passion for science and a love of learning. Instructor's assignments may include but are not limited to any and all YSI programs and events including School and Group Programs, Summer Science Camps, Science Safaris, Science Saturdays, Community Events such as YSI’s Wildlife Festival, fundraising, marketing, and animal care.

Instructors carry out assignments at a variety of venues including but not limited to schools, pre-schools, YSI sites, community events and festivals, and other offsite locations in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County.



This part-time, flexible position may be scheduled to work Monday through Friday and on weekends based on the needs of YSI. Shifts vary by day and by week. The field trip season peaks in the fall and spring, with limited teaching hours available during winter and summer. Additional summer hours may be available working with summer camps. Instructors are assigned to out-of-office sites by the Program Manager or Executive Director. Science Education Instructors are required to work at least 20 hours per month. For accommodations, see Executive Director. 


 Duties Include:

• Teach hands-on environmental, biological, physical, and social science programs to  students and adults in an indoor or outdoor classroom or field-trip setting

• Ensure the safety and well-being of students

• Preparation and cleanup for all programs or events, including returning all kits and items to YSI

•  Comprehend and teach program materials and curricula provided by YSI

• Maintenance and transport of teaching kits between YSI sites and offsite program locations

• Exhibit maturity, diplomacy, and common sense in working with teachers, parents,  students, staff, and other YSI constituents

• Handling, care of, and transportation of live animals (training is provided).

• Maintenance and care of live animals (including some weekends and holidays).

• Presentations involving live animals

• Maintenance of exhibits

• Maintain indoor and outdoor facilities including cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting

• Positive and  keen customer service with school personnel and other visitors

• Administrative duties as needed

• Performs other duties as assigned by the Program Manager or Executive Director


Education and Experience:

Years of Experience:

2 or more years of experience in a teaching environment or related field



Degree in science, education environmental studies, or similar preferred or equivalent experience; coursework in these areas is helpful



Must have and maintain current certification by a nationally recognized provider of training for adult and child First Aid, CPR, and AED; acquired by end of first 30 days of employment at YSI


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills including excellent customer service skills

• Computer literate in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs

• Acute attention to detail and accuracy

• Strong organizational skills

• Able to work independently and in a team environment, juggle multiple tasks, and  adapt to changing priorities

• Able to interface daily with teachers, parents, students, the public, and YSI staff in a positive, professional manner

• Excellent people skills and personable, helpful, friendly attitude with the ability to listen and  answer questions

• Able to work with, and react to, the public under pressure

• Ability to  comprehend and follow written and verbal instructions

• Ability to adapt and be flexible as priorities shift, and willing to take on a variety of tasks

• Knowledge of Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) preferred

• Passionate and avid about science education, nature, working with students, and YSI’s mission and values



• Able to work in varying conditions (indoor and outdoor)

• Positive and enthusiastic

• Interest in working for a non-profit

• Flexible and willing to take on a variety of tasks

• Able to work autonomously or in a group

• Dedicated to the ideals stated in the Youth Science Institute’s mission


• Must undergo criminal background checks, including fingerprints, through the database of the California Department of Justice, and the national FBI criminal database. Must also show results of a negative TB skin test reading less than 4 years old.

• Must have and maintain current certification by a nationally recognized provider of training for adult and child CPR, First Aid, and AED. Must be acquired by the end of the 30 days of employment with YSI.

• Per YSI policy, all instructor staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their start date

• Possess a valid driver’s license, and auto insurance, and have access to a car

• Must be able to submit hours worked on an electronic time card daily

• Ability to stand for extended periods of time

• Enforce all YSI COVID protocols, including disinfecting, social distancing, and required face masks for all adults and children ages 2 and over. This includes those who are vaccinated

• Kneel and sit occasionally

• Work in varying conditions (indoor and outdoor)


Physical Requirements:

• Stand for up to 6 hours

• Move and lift items up to 30 pounds

• See 12-point font and distances of 300 feet

• Walk and hike for up to 1.5 hours and up to 1 mile

• Run and/or jog on flat and hilly surfaces and navigate a 30-degree slope. Surfaces include but are not limited to grass, gravel, wet and dry surfaces, uneven and/or rocky soil

• Hear children and adult voices

• Communicate clearly and be understood by groups of students and adults for periods of up to 6 hours.

• Kneel and sit occasionally

• Work in varying conditions (indoor and outdoor)

For accommodations to these activities, staff should submit requests to the Executive Director.


Pay rate: $23-$27 per hour based on experience

 How To Apply: Please submit your YSI Employment Application, Resume, and Cover Letter to Internal applicants only need to submit a Resume and Cover Letter.

This position specification is not an employment contract. YSI is an at-will employer. YSI reserves the right to modify, add, or change this specification for the Instructor position at any time. For more information, please contact or call 408-356-4945 ext 11.