Jobs / Job Details

Far Horizons Summer Counselor @ Adler Planetarium

  • Job Type: Full-time
  • Job Category: Engineering & Technology, Education
  • Adler Planetarium
  • 1300 S.Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 60640
  • Job Application

Far Horizons Summer Counselor

Full-Time Temporary

About the Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium connects people to the universe and each other. Whether it is introducing a guest to the Ring Nebula, a neighborhood school to a community partner, a research team to a network of citizen scientists, or one staff member to another, the Adler’s focus on meaningful connections dates back nearly a century.

Today, the museum hosts more than half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, online citizen science, and other outreach projects. With the Adler’s support, people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities gain the confidence to explore their universe together and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Thank you again for your interest in applying to the Adler Planetarium! Effective November 8, 2021, we have implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy that will require all employees, interns, temporary employees, and volunteers to receive one of the CDC-authorized vaccines, unless a medical or religious reasonable accommodation is approved. Please note: at this time we are not asking you to provide any information about your current vaccination status, whether you would seek a religious or medical accommodation to the policy, nor for any other medical information – we are only notifying you of the policy if you are interested in moving forward with the application process.

The Position

The Adler Planetarium is seeking a Far Horizons Summer Counselor to join our dynamic team located on Chicago's Museum Campus. The Far Horizons Counselor collaborates with the Far Horizons Instructor and Teen Programs Manager to implement two programs - Mission Near Space and Far Horizons Teens.

In Mission Near Space 7th and 8th-grade students become part of a unique team of engineers and astronomers whose goal is to prepare, launch, track, and retrieve a scientific payload sent to the stratosphere aboard a high-altitude balloon. In Far Horizons Teens 8th - 11th graders develop skills in electronics circuitry, computer programming, structural design, and teamwork. They work in small groups to design, build, and present prototype solutions to mitigate the effects of light pollution.

The Counselor keeps middle through high school-aged participants engaged all day every day, assisting the Program Manager and Instructor with the operations of Mission Near Space. They take the lead on individual needs management, allowing the Instructor and Program Manager to focus on whole group instruction.

This individual will also be responsible for:

  • Assisting the Instructor and Program Manager in maintaining the safety and positive engagement of participants during indoor and outdoor activities including one weekly off-site trip (Mission Near Space. Understanding and implementing all emergency procedures associated with the Adler Planetarium, when necessary
  • Helping participants complete fun, STEAM-based activities, adapting as needed to meet the needs of the participants. Encouraging all participants to participate fully in all activities. Providing individual attention as needed
  • Participating in all training sessions and preparation as needed.
  • Assisting in Mission Near Space drop-off and pick-up procedures by greeting participants and keeping them engaged in games or other age-appropriate activities while waiting
  • With the Program Manager and Instructor, setting up and cleaning up program materials and activities daily.
  • Traveling with Mission Near Space program participants to Kankakee and the payload recovery site on balloon-launch day

This temporary full-time position begins on June 5, 2023, and ends on August 4, 2023. The anticipated schedule for this position is as follows.


  • June 5th - 16th | Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM
  • June 7th or 8th | Training Flight 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Program Implementation:

  • June 19th - August 4th | Monday - Friday 8 AM - 4 PM
  • One extended day (varying, but 6:30 pm is average) for three weeks during Mission Near Space sessions for balloon launches

FT Compensation & Benefits

Compensation: $16.00/hr

Work-Life balance

  • 3 Sick Days as of date of hire (can accrue up to 6.5 days per year)
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Paid Family Bereavement Leave & Jury Duty

Retirement Savings Plan

  • 403B plan with Adler match
  • Adler match is 100% vested immediately
  • Eligible to enroll as of date of hire

Network of Support through our expanded EAP program

  • Monthly webinars, workshops and self-care content
  • Life and Career Coaching
  • Specialized Coaching Programs
  • Therapy with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Discounted Onsite Parking Passes

Commuter flexible spending account

Free Entrance to Chicago area museums and cultural institutions

The Person

The Far Horizons counselor is ready for anything and excited about everything! They always have a new game or challenge prepared to occupy the group during downtime and are great at figuring out and doing what needs to happen to keep the day running smoothly. Teamwork and collaboration come naturally to them, and they know that the best way to help someone learn is to guide them towards their own discoveries. They’re equally comfortable in the field (possibly a literal field!) or in the lab.

Required Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • One or more years of experience working with older children (teens) in an educational and/or camp-like setting
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Proficient in Google Suite
  • Confident tech user and excited to learn new tech skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • One year or more of college
  • College coursework or comparable in formal (classroom) or informal (museum) education, space science field, technology, or relevant science field
  • Experience with electronics (e.g. 3D printers, Arduino, microcontrollers)
  • Bilingual Spanish and English speaker

The Adler Planetarium is dedicated to complying with its obligations as an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact Jenean Featherson by email at and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case by case basis.