Join Us :: Volunteer Opportunities
Discovery Place

Volunteer in Discover Place, our hands-on learning center for children. Children from pre-school to eighth grade enjoy this special area of the State Museum set aside just for them. Volunteers assist staff with creative program ideas, supervision, interacting with the children, demonstration as well as instruction. Here is the type of volunteer opportunity you could be involved with:

Position Title: Arts Crafter
Description: Develop and lead arts and craft activities.
Placement: Discovery Place
Duties: Generate ideas, develop activities, help gather materials, set up, lead activities and clean up.
Time Commitment: 2-4 hours per month, weekends, holidays and school breaks.
Training: Provided by staff as necessary.
Qualifications: High school, college student or professional, experienced working with children and public, experience with arts and crafts.
Physical Demands: Bending, kneeling, occasional light lifting (books and art supplies), sitting or kneeling for activities.
Benefits: Joy and satisfaction of helping young people , have fun creating projects with children, resume' builder.
Learn more about Discovery place

Behind the Scenes

The research and collections areas offer fascinating opportunities to work with Museum scientists and collections managers. A background appropriate to the field is helpful, but not required however, interest, enthusiasm, and commitment is important. Many of our behind the scenes positions may entail clerical work, data entry, specimen handling, research or some combination there of.

Applications for the research areas are screened by museum historians and collections staff in those areas. Volunteers in collections and research provide support in the following areas:

  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Geology
  • Zoology
  • Birds
  • Fishes
  • Insects
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Mammals
  • Invertebrates
Want to learn more about "Behind the Scenes" and our collections?
visit: Museum Research and Collections

Visitor Services

Visitor Services volunteers work on the public floors of the New York State Museum and assist the public with information, guides for school and group visits, interpretation, and many tasks necessary for the smooth daily operations of the exhibit floors. Seasonal patterns in Museum attendance and the corresponding fluctuations in programs and audience needs, create many and varied duties for the visitor service volunteers.

Some duties may include, providing information to the public in person and over the phone, orientation of visitors to the museum, provide directions to exhibits and different program area's and provide information about locations of interest on the Empire State Plaza. Becoming a Visitor Service Volunteer also opens the door to many other volunteer opportunities within the New York State Museum.

Public Programs

Public Program volunteers primarily are scheduled to work on weekends or during school breaks. They assist with ticket sales, birthday parties, check-ins, coatroom, provide visitor information and other special needs for a successful special event. Visit our calendar of exhibits and scheduled special events.

Ambassador Program

The Ambassador Program is designed to have volunteers (Plaza Ambassadors) work in a variety of rotating settings throughout the Empire State Plaza and the New York State Museum.

Just a few of the volunteer opportunities include:

  • Conduct tours of the Empire State Plaza, discussing the architecture, history of the Plaza's construction, various memorials, and how the Plaza functions today.
  • Staff the information booths on the Concourse, provide direction for visitors and answer questions.
  • Staff the Corning Tower Observation Deck and offer information to Visitors about the Plaza and Albany.
  • Act as roving "Ambassador" on the Concourse and help visitors find their way around the Plaza.
  • Staff the information desk and membership desk at the New York State Museum.
  • Provide volunteer coverage at "Special Events"
  • Provide volunteer coverage with Public Programs at the Museum.
This is a terrific opportunity for our volunteers to meet new people, learn about the resources of the Plaza and perform a real public service for the Empire State Plaza and the New York State Museum.
Museum Club

The Museum Club is an award-winning, nationally recognized program designed to serve Albany City youth, ages 8-18.

Hailed in 1996 by the President's Council on the Arts and the Humanities and the Albany branch of the NAACP for its innovative educational programming for urban youth, the Museum Club continues to grow and strengthen its educational emphasis through hands-on enrichment activities. Students participate in, and help to develop academic and socio/cultural activities that link Museum exhibits to curriculum, current events, and social issues.

Program components include:

  • tutoring and reading incentive programs featuring a tutor, university interns, and volunteers who assist children with homework and attempt to improve reading and math skills.
  • hands-on, long-term projects developed by experienced educators and community representatives. Activities range from science & nature, to the arts and humanities. Students choose a program area and explore a topic, from start to finish, through a multi-disciplinary, interactive approach. Children are encouraged to challenge themselves and utilize their own interests and talents to enhance their growing mastery of each topic.
  • "personalized" informal learning with a strong emphasis on one-to-one relationships between staff and students. Staff strives to serve the "whole" child by working hard to build bridges between children, families, schools, and the community.
Volunteers/Interns must be assertive, energetic, education-oriented individuals. If you have an interest in education, psychology, sociology, etc. and would like to work with urban children in a museum setting.

(Program hours: 2:30-5:00PM, Mon-Fri. Flexible shifts available)

Museum Open Monday-Saturday: 9:30 am to 5 pm | Carousel Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm
Office of Cultural Education | New York State Education Department
Information: 518-474-5877 | Contact Us | Image Requests | Terms of Use
Join us on Facebook See us on YouTube See us on Flickr