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Outreach Educator

Yerkes Observatory
Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI 53191
$55,000 - $60,000 a year - Full-time
Pay in top 20% for this fieldCompared to similar jobs on Indeed


Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI 53191

Pulled from the full job description

  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Employee discount
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health insurance

Full job description

Job Title: Outreach Educator

Reports to: Deputy Director + Head of Education and Science

Status: Full time

Salary range: $55-60k (based on experience) plus generous benefits

Short Summary (1-2 sentences)

The Outreach Educator is responsible for developing and running educational programming for students and visitors of all ages and backgrounds. They enthusiastically engage with visitors from around the world.

Full Description:

The Outreach Educator is responsible for designing, developing, and running educational programming for students and visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The Outreach Educator joins our team at an exciting time, when we are building up our educational offerings. They are encouraged to creatively contribute to designing unique and impactful programs.

The goal of Yerkes Education is for students to gain understanding of the impact and potential of science, to experience inspiration from the environment and architecture, to gain appreciation of Yerkes’ history and technology, and to feel empowered to pursue their personal interests regardless of their family experience or types of people who have done those things in the past.

We are looking for an enthusiastic educator with the ability to motivate, educate, and inspire students through their experience with Yerkes Observatory. We seek someone with the ability to implement curriculum and instructional strategies to engage students in achieving learning outcomes. We are looking for someone who maintains positive and productive relationships and who focuses on collective problem-solving processes, in order to create, support, and sustain an environment conducive to optimal learning.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Enthusiastically engage and interact with visitors, educators, and students from around the world
  • Lead school group tours
  • Design activities for school groups that are scaffolded for their age range
  • Create and lead summer educational programs
  • Participate in outreach visits and events
  • Ability to manage medium to large groups of students
  • Answer questions about astronomy, the Observatory and its history
  • Engage with regional and national educator networks
  • Have opportunities to contribute across various other programs, exhibits and activities that make astronomy and Yerkes Observatory engaging and surprising for people of varied backgrounds.
  • Promote diversity within STEM and astronomy
  • They will also be cross-trained to help with the gift shop and other Yerkes programs on occasion.
  • As Yerkes evolves there will be opportunity for growth of responsibilities.

Required Qualifications and expectations

  • 3-5 years teaching experience at any level or experience presenting educational activities
  • Science and/or teaching background
  • Capacity for and willingness to learn educational standards for K-12 science and astronomy in the United States
  • Applicants must pass a background check

Preferred Qualifications

  • Astronomy knowledge
  • Experience developing curriculum
  • Knowledge of educational standards (NGSS or Common Core) for science and astronomy for K-12
  • Public speaking experience
  • Ability to use data to drive instructional decisions

About Yerkes Observatory

This position offers a rare opportunity for the right candidate to make their mark on one of the iconic institutions, and landscapes, in the history of science.

Yerkes is known globally as the birthplace of modern astrophysics and remains the home to the world’s largest refracting telescope. Since 1897, an impressive list of noteworthy science luminaries have worked and studied here. This list includes Edwin Hubble, Gerard Kuiper, Carl Sagan, Nancy Grace Roman (NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy and the namesake of NASA’s next space telescope), and Nobel Prize winners Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Gerhard Herzberg. Albert Einstein, who put Yerkes high on his must-see list for his first trip to the United States, visited in 1921.

Located on Wisconsin’s Geneva Lake in an elaborate Romanesque and Beaux Arts masterpiece, Yerkes Observatory opened to the public for the first time in 2022. It is roughly an hour each from metro Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. It is within 75 miles of a population of 11 million potential visitors. The historic Observatory, which rests amid fifty acres of grounds designed by the legendary Olmsted firm, was recently designated a certified arboretum. Like the building and telescopes, the grounds are undergoing renewal, restoration, and rehabilitation.

In 2020, Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) assumed long-term stewardship from the University of Chicago for preserving and restoring the Yerkes Observatory and its landscape. The Wisconsin-based foundation is currently leading an initial $30M campaign to restore and build the staff and programs. Future fundraising is planned for operations, endowment, and program growth. A significant portion of the initial $30M goal has already been raised. Restoration and major construction work on the site has been underway since mid-2020.

The goal of YFF is to ensure Yerkes continues to advance astronomy while transforming the Observatory and its grounds into a destination for science and discovery. The mission is to create a distinctive and singular experience where science, ecology, culture, arts, and curiosity cross-pollinate in novel and unique ways. Yerkes will be a national leader in growing the public’s understanding of and engagement with science by conducting astronomical research, building accessible hiking trails, presenting public talks by science luminaries and cultural influencers, offering school programs, hosting nighttime star parties, and more.

Benefits and Diversity Statements:

Yerkes offers a robust suite of benefits, including 80% employer-paid health insurance, 100% employer-paid dental and vision insurance, a 401k with a match of employee contributions up to 6% of your salary, employer-subsidized life and long-term disability insurance and access to a range of additional employee-paid insurance and benefits at reasonable cost.

The Yerkes Future Foundation (YFF) is committed to advancing diversity in the sciences and in employment. YFF does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. We encourage and actively solicit applications from diverse candidates.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $55,000.00 - $60,000.00 per year


  • Dental insurance
  • Employee discount
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • 8 hour shift
  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekend availability

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Williams Bay, WI 53191: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)

Work Location: One location