Youth Programs

We’re engaging the next generation of leaders in science, engineering and biology.  Discover ways to involve your upcoming trailblazer with our leading programs tailored to ages six to sixteen.

Our exciting shadow program for students in grades 6-12th allows participants a glimpse into the Aquarium world. Students will have the opportunity to observe jobs that keep the Aquarium afloat, like aquarist, educator or mammal behaviorist. The Program will be offered on September 7, 2015, January 18, 2016 and February 15, 2016 (President’s Day).

Application Deadline

August 31, 2015
(for September 7, 2015 Shadow Day)
January 11, 2016
(for January 18, 2016 Shadow Day)
February 8, 2016
(for February 15, 2016 Shadow Day)


You will be contacted by phone or email one week before the Shadow Days if your child is selected to participate. Contact Ashley Bradt with questions at or 843-579-8531.

How to apply for the Youth Shadow Program

Write a 300-word essay describing why you are interested in participating and what you hope to gain from the experience. Secure a letter of recommendation from an adult, non-family member (preferably a teacher). Submit the form, essay and recommendation letter to: South Carolina Aquarium, Attn: Ashley Bradt, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401

Application Form

The Splash Program is a volunteer opportunity for teenagers ages 13, 14 and 15. Teens and their parents are invited to apply to this program working as Exhibit Guides in the Education Department. These volunteers spread the Aquarium’s mission with special emphasis on education and conservation.

All teens selected for further consideration will be contacted for a personal interview. Interviews will be scheduled in April 2016. Teens accepted into the program are invited to begin volunteering in May 2016.

How to apply for the Splash Program

Essay: Interested teens must submit a typed, one-page essay expressing why you and your parent would make a great volunteer team. Please include contact information for both student and parent (phone numbers, email addresses, and home address).
References: Each teen must provide a non-relative reference, including their daytime phone number. (examples: teacher, scout leader, coach, or pastor)
Spring 2016: Essay and reference letter due Friday, March 26, 2016
Fall 2016: Essay and reference letter due Friday, September 30, 2016

Submit by email to, fax 843-579-8511 or by letter to South Carolina Aquarium, Attn: Splash / Volunteer Services, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401

Shifts Available

Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 12:30 – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 11:30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m.

Our Aquateen Program is a competitive, seasonal volunteer opportunity for 16- and 17-year-old students to work as Exhibit Guides. As Exhibit Guides, in the Education Department, Aquateens are an important part of creating an exceptional visitor experience. They communicate with guests of all ages at interactive carts, encourage outdoor exploration at the Trading Post Station, handle live animals in the Touch Tank, and exhibit turtles, snakes, alligators, and even hissing cockroaches, during animal encounters. Aquateen volunteers convey the mission of the Aquarium with special emphasis on fun, education and conservation.

What to Expect?

Mandatory training sessions are held at the Aquarium (two sessions- seven hours each) with one off-site training session. Additionally on-site training will follow during regularly scheduled shifts. Selected students work a minimum of two shifts per week, between June 13th and August 13th. Shifts can be in the morning (8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) or afternoon (12:30 p.m.- 6 p.m.) and run Tuesday through Saturday. A snack/lunch break time is scheduled for each shift. Aquateens must provide their own transportation to the Aquarium. Parking passes, uniform polos and nametags are provided for those selected.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2016
Due to the volume of applications received in 2015, late submissions cannot be considered.
Interviews: April 4th-8th, 2016
You will be contacted to schedule an in-person interview with SCA Staff, after your application materials have been received.
Orientation/Training Classes:

  • Saturday, May 7th, 9am-4pm; on-site
  • Saturday, May 21st, 9am-1pm, seining trip
  • Saturday, June 4th, 9am-4pm ; on-site

Program Dates: June 13 – August 13, 2016
Family Night: Late July 2016
Sleepover Night: Early August 2016
Last Day Celebration: Saturday, August 13th, 8:30am-4:00pm

How to apply for the Aquateen Program

Although this is an unpaid position, the experience gained is invaluable. With that being said, we encourage applicants to take their time compiling the materials listed below. Submit all materials in one email to Kendyll Collins at

Applications should include:
  • The application form on our website (below)
  • A one page essay describing any strengths or skills that uniquely qualify you for the program and what you hope to gain from this experience
  • A one page resume including personal contact information, education, experience, and skills and memberships
  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher, supervisor, or coach
  • Be 16 or 17 years old
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Have an interest in marine science and a willingness to learn new things
  • Have a summer schedule that allows for two shifts a week
  • If taking a summer vacation (encouraged!), please plan to schedule make up days for each shift missed
Application Form

Internship Opportunities

Every year, ten eleventh grade students are selected to form an elite group through the Aquarium’s competitive and award winning High School Internship Program.  This once in a lifetime opportunity offers Charleston area students real life work experience in a unmatched work environment.

The South Carolina Aquarium High School Intern Program is an opportunity to become a paid intern for 11th grade students in the Charleston area who qualify for free or reduced school lunch. Each spring, students attend training classes to learn about animals, ocean science, career development and team building skills. Ten students are then chosen to continue on as paid summer interns, working with marine educators and biologists throughout the summer.

The High School Intern Program is made possible by donations from generous partners including: Alcoa Foundation, The Employees Community Fund of Boeing South Carolina and VWR Charitable Foundation.

  • Be a current 11th grade student
  • Have a strong interest in animals and the environment
  • Qualify for free or reduced school lunch

Two references from teachers must be submitted; one must be from a science teacher. Two teachers must complete a reference form. Reference forms must be submitted in order to be considered for an internship. All applications are due by November 6, 2015.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: Nov. 6, 2015
Interviews: Dec. 1 – 13, 2015
Acceptance Mailed: Dec. 14 – 30, 2015
Parent Orientation: Jan. 6, 2016 7:00 pm
Training Classes: Jan. – April 2016
Second Interviews: April 19 – May 4, 2016
Internship Orientations: May 21 and  June 4, 2016
Summer Internship: June 6 – July 31, 2016
Family Night: July 2016

All application materials must be completed and sent to:

After receiving your application and teacher references, an Aquarium team member will contact you to set up an interview. Applicants who are accepted will participate in training classes at the Aquarium from January – April. Classes will meet once a month on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Participants will be evaluated on interest, commitment and progress shown during the training classes. In April, participants will be interviewed again by Aquarium team members. Based on these evaluations, 10 participants will be chosen for paid internships with our education staff. Internships will be 20 hours/week, $8.25/hour, and will last for eight weeks during the months of June – July.
Mail to: South Carolina Aquarium, Attn: Ashley Bradt / HS Intern Program, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401

Application Form   Teacher Reference Form

The South Carolina Aquarium has various opportunities for students to engage in meaningful, hands-on learning through our college internship program. This practical learning gives students the chance to gain real-world experience and learn job responsibilities. Current positions are listed below.

Internships in Marketing, Membership and Independent Studies may be available. Please email to inquire.


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