City program – graduate instructor

New Tucson-based Instructor Positions at UA Sky School!
For the 2018-19 academic year, UA Sky School is expanding into public elementary schools around Tucson. We are seeking motivated graduate students who would like to work with us to immerse students in grades 3-5 in the process of scientific inquiry, right in their schoolyards! These daytime in-school Sky School City programs are a unique opportunity to gain experience with science education and communication. Programs include instruction on general themes relevant to field sciences in the sky island region—ecology, entomology, geology, hydrology, climate science, soil science, astronomy—as well as opportunities for students to conduct inquiry projects on topics of their choice. Our staff will provide training for effective mentoring of students, as well as feedback to instructors on improving their facilitation and teaching skills.

Time commitment
City programs are scheduled during elementary school hours on Mondays and Fridays, concentrated from October through March. Throughout the year, approximately 6 evening school events and 5-10 classroom visits will be scheduled around each instructor’s academic schedule.

City instructors are provided a cash award (stipend) for all Sky School activities. Compensation is approximately equal to a $3000 stipend for 30 full program days per year. These awards are considered financial aid by the institution, though they are not need-based. You are advised to contact a financial aid advisor if you have specific questions as to how an award may affect your overall account. Stipends amounts are based on a tiered system of time commitment to programs and are awarded by semester.

City instructors will either serve as a group leader working with a small group of students, or as a team leader and scientific consultant to other group leaders during in-school scientific inquiry project days. Additionally, instructors will be assisting in the development and implementation of pre-designed activities during evening STEM night / star parties and individual visits to classrooms over the course of the academic year. Instructors may be asked to support Sky School outreach and development opportunities occasionally throughout the year. Successful instructors will also:

  • Pass background check and register fingerprints with UA Police Department
  • Commit to keeping First Aid/CPR training current
  • Attend mandatory training events on Mt. Lemmon (transportation provided) and the UA campus

Evaluation Criteria
Applications will be primarily evaluated for the ability to communicate with and relate to participants. A solid foundation in experimental design is a must! Also important is the ability to explain your own research to young people, ages 8-12. A research connection to resources unique to the Sonoran Desert or sky island region is helpful, but not necessary.  We try to maximize the diversity of subject areas covered by all fellows. Applicants in non-science majors are welcome if they can show significant experience with scientific inquiry and/or engineering design.  Experience teaching or mentoring youth as well as experience in the outdoors are helpful, but not required. City instructors will ideally represent diverse backgrounds and research areas. Applicants early in their deree programs are especially encouraged to apply to facilitate holding a multi-year fellowship with the Sky School.


Application Process
Please email application materials for the City fellowships to Interviews and hiring will be ongoing until all positions are filled. Our first staff training will be held in early September 2018 at our Mt. Lemmon campus.

Application materials:

  • Brief statement of interest explaining your prior experience and qualifications, your desired personal outcomes for the fellowship. One page limit.
  • Brief description of your research interests written at a level appropriate to generate understanding and curiosity for a typical upper elementary age student (one page limit)
  • Curriculum vitae, including any past educational, outdoor, or outreach activities relevant to this fellowship (two page limit)
  • Letter of support from your advisor (can be sent under separate cover)

Please contact us or any of our current instructors with any questions if you are considering applying.