The Museum appreciates its volunteers and strives to give them meaningful and satisfying assignments. Volunteers enhance our ability to make the Museum a premier cultural institution. We're currently recruiting dedicated volunteers who are eager to explore the world we build for ourselves. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities:
The Volunteer and Docent Program is looking for out-going individuals interested in working with children ages 3 and up for our Discovery carts.
The Museum offers three different carts:
- The Three Little Pigs and Building Materials
This cart is designed for ages 3-5. Visitors will take part in an interactive re-telling of the Three Little Pigs and learn about the basic parts of the house and some of the materials that go into building a house.
- Arches and Trusses: the Tension Builds
This cart is designed for ages 5-10. Visitors will discover how building forces, materials, and structures affect strength and longevity. You will lead the visitors in testing different building materials and working together to build a brick arch.
- Bridging the Gap
This cart is designed for ages 7 and up. Visitors will learn about five basic bridge types before solving a transportation problem by choosing a type of bridge to build.
Those interested in leading a Discovery cart must be comfortable with public speaking and working with a wide range of audiences (especially children!), able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances while giving a presentation. The cart presentations are located in the Great Hall, so an ability to draw attention or “ham it up” is desirable. Carts are scheduled for the public regularly on the weekends, but docents are also needed during the week for custom booked groups. Training for new discovery cart docents will be on Saturday, June 1st from 9 to 1 pm. If you are interested, please fill out the application. Applications are due by May 20th and interviews and orientation must be complete before June 1st.
Outreach Programs is looking for design professionals in all fields, educators, and those interested in working with teenagers for our multi-visit, experiential programs, CityVision and the Design Apprenticeship Program (DAP). These programs teach local teens how to observe more closely and look for ways to change the world around them.
CityVision brings 30 D.C. public school middle school students to the Museum every Thursday during the school year to learn about urban planning and architecture. Volunteers assist Museum staff as participants learn about the basics of design, explore development sites throughout the District, and propose their own solutions to improve D.C.
DAP meets for 7 to 8 Saturdays and brings together 30 youth from the D.C. Metro area to learn the basics of design and construction. Volunteers actively instruct and assist the teens as they explore materials, learn to use power tools, and work in teams to fabricate their final product. Volunteer recruitment for DAP II spring 2013 will begin in January, please submit your application then.
- Be enthusiastic about working with youth, and allow them to guide their design process.
- Consistently attend sessions according to predetermined schedule (ideally every week, but Outreach staff can work with you to find schedules to accommodate working professionals).
- Attend training and orientation sessions, and complete all required paperwork.
- Satisfaction of mentoring and guiding the next generation of designers.
- Both programs eligible for continuing education credits and IDP.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to be involved? Fill out the application here: Outreach Programs volunteer application
Volunteers are an integral part of the National Building Museum's daily operations. In our fiscal year 2012, the Museum's volunteers contributed a total of 13,199 hours. Volunteering at the National Building Museum requires a commitment of time, enthusiasm, and interest.
Benefits of volunteering include:
- Discount in the Museum Shop
- Discount in the cafe
- Monthly calendar of events
- Free admission to public programs
- Educational opportunities such as monthly enrichment trips, volunteer continuing education, and curatorial overviews and tours
- Annual volunteer appreciation dinner and awards ceremony
- Access to the Museum’s volunteer office and library
Questions? Contact the volunteer manager at 202.272.2448, ext. 3302 or email@example.com.