This summer #ILoveSharks was the central theme for our high school Youth Summer Interns (YSI) at Birch Aquarium. Throughout the summer, intern interpreters hosted tables in the Galleria and gave talks to improve the public’s view of sharks. They advocated that “Sharks are Rad, Not Bad” and are important members of the marine ecosystem.
Wednesdays were dedicated to expanding horizons. Interns often had “snacks with a scientist” – an informal meet-up with a Scripps Oceanography researcher where interns could ask questions about cutting edge science and STEM Careers. Wednesdays could also mean tours of the UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography campuses, snorkeling excursions to meet sharks in the wild, or engaging with experts in an array of marine science fields. This summer, 31,956 guests visited the interpretive activity stations, and our interns were happy to impact so many people’s opinions of sharks.
Here’s what our 2016 interns had to say about the program:
“This internship has strengthened my love for the ocean, and our weekly Wednesday snacks with scientists has further inspired to me to pursue my dreams of becoming a marine biologist. Going on a private tour of Scripps Oceanography was absolutely amazing and UC San Diego is now on the top of my college list! I have enjoyed every single day at work, and the time has flown by much faster than I wish it would’ve.”
“Thank you again for such a wonderful experience. My time at Birch Aquarium was truly life changing and I made so many wonderful memories and friends. Between the project and games to working on the Galleria floor, I feel overjoyed to have been accepted into what truly is a loving and fun family. Thank you to all my fellow Interns and to all the Staff. You have truly made an impression on my life.”
“It has definitely improved my ability to interact with people in information conversations, which is a tool not often taught in school.”
“This internship provided me with an incredible amount of knowledge about marine science as well as opportunities to see that knowledge applied in the real world. I learned a lot about science careers and how I can pursue one in the future… Doing what I love in a professional setting is simply amazing. I would not have traded YSI for anything!”