Science Action Club Instructional Design Lead at California Academy of Sciences

SAC trainingReporting to the SAC Senior Manager, the SAC Instructional Design Lead will play a key role in the design, production, and distribution of science education resources that transform learning in out-of-school time and enable the SAC program to scale nationally. This includes the development of online and in-person training experiences for afterschool staff and environmental science curriculum modules for middle school youth in afterschool. The SAC Instructional Design Lead will coordinate and maintain relationships with SAC stakeholders and provide ongoing support to ensure successful implementation of the Science Action Club program.

Qualified applicants for this position are creative thinkers and flexible team players with a strong background in the natural sciences, experience with online learning tools and strategies, expertise in STEM curriculum design and teacher professional development, and knowledge of best practices for hands-on teaching and learning in afterschool.


Science Action Club (SAC) is a high-impact STEM learning program that provides professional development and teaching kits to middle school afterschool providers. The SAC program features environmental science experiences that spark youth interest in scientific exploration. Through games, projects, and hands-on activities, youth in SAC investigate nature and use citizen science to document their discoveries, share data with professional scientists, and design strategies to protect our planet. Afterschool staff receive in-depth training on SAC kits, curriculum resources, and STEM teaching techniques for the informal learning environment.

Leveraging national partnerships and a train-the-trainer model, SAC recently scaled from 20 sites in the Bay Area to over 100 sites throughout California. In Fall 2016, SAC will scale nationwide with the launch of new e-learning training resources. Learn more about the SAC network at


  • Design, produce, evaluate, and iterate high-quality online training resources for afterschool staff and trainers
  • Develop, coordinate, and facilitate in-person training workshops for afterschool staff and trainers at the Academy and at off-site locations (some national travel may be required, up to 4 weeks per year)
  • Provide ongoing support for SAC partners, including coaching and guidance around program implementation
  • Develop innovative environmental science curriculum guides and kits for middle school youth in afterschool; contribute to the evaluation and revision of existing modules
  • Coordinate partnerships with afterschool organizations and other key stakeholders to scale SAC nationwide
  • Create, refine, and use efficient systems to track and report program data
  • Contribute broadly to the Academy’s mission through collaborations with members of the Youth Programs team and the Teacher and Youth Education department
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Work occasional weekends or evenings; some travel required
  • Other duties as assigned


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The ideal candidate will possess the following education and/or experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required; graduate degree in education, instructional technology, or related subjects preferred
  • Background in natural sciences required (successful completion of college level courses in natural science or equivalent work experience)
  • Minimum 1 year of experience developing and/or using online learning tools and resources; preference for candidates who have designed and built online learning experiences for educators
  • Demonstrated experience applying innovative strategies to design, evaluate, and revise professional development trainings for educators
  • Minimum 3 years of experience designing and/or implementing informal science programming for youth; experience in middle school afterschool a plus
  • Demonstrated experience working on a highly professional cross-disciplinary team


  • Experience with educational technology tools, platforms, and strategies
  • Knowledge of best practices for teaching adults and training educators
  • Knowledge of best practices for leading hands-on science experiences for middle school youth in afterschool
  • Outstanding communication skills; ability to forge and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders by exercising a high degree of diplomacy and professionalism
  • Ability to collaboratively reflect, brainstorm, and execute tasks, as well as exercise good judgment, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to work with minimal supervision
  • Strong project management skills and demonstrated ability to coordinate complex logistics
  • Experience designing, facilitating, or participating in citizen science projects
  • Facility with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Apps, and Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Superior written, public speaking, and group facilitation skills
  • Ability to work effectively with multigenerational and multicultural constituencies
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to carry out multiple administrative tasks with attention to detail
  • Ability to work occasional weekends and evenings; some local and national travel required
  • Bilingual written and spoken Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese a plus


Ability to read and interpret documents such as education materials, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write curriculum and training materials, professional reports, and correspondence. Ability to speak and write in a courteous and professional manner. Ability to speak clearly and effectively before groups and individuals. Bilingual proficiency preferred.


The physical demands and work environment 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 the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, reach with hands and arms, talk and hear. Must be able to lift 20 lbs.  Must be able to perform repetitive motions 50% of the time.


This is a mandated reporter designated position.  Academy employees whose duties include direct contact and supervision of children are deemed mandated reporters under California Law.  Mandated reporters have certain specific reporting obligations in the event that they know of, observe or reasonably suspect that a child has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.  The Academy provides mandated reporters with training of their rights and obligations under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.


Head to our website for more information and to apply.