Volunteering at Scienceworks

Scienceworks is a national leader in helping the public better understand the wonders of science and has a dedicated team of over 150 volunteers who assist staff in both front of house and behind the scenes roles.

Roles at Scienceworks:

Front of House Roles

1 - Activities Assistants: Working with Education and Community Programs staff to enhance the experience of visitors on weekends and during school holidays with specially designed activities for families with children under 12 years of age. Staff and volunteers engage with these visitors, deepening their understanding of our galleries and exhibitions. These hands-on, often craft based activities allow children to make and keep unique creations as a memory of an immersive learning experience. Special events cater for visitors and stakeholders of all ages.

Rostered on weekends, school holidays and at some special events.

2 - Tour Guides – Pumping Station and Collection Store: Presenting tours, enabling visitors to make the most of their time at Scienceworks. After at least six months in an ongoing role tour guide training may be undertaken, subject to the training calendar.

Rostered 7 days

3 - Gallery Explainers: Helping visitors further understand, interpret and enjoy our galleries and touring exhibitions. At Scienceworks this role enhances the visitors' experience through face to face exhibit interpretation and program assistance while ensuring an enjoyable environment. Gallery Explainers assist visitors achieve a full understanding of the many changing exhibitions throughout the year.

Rostered 7 days.

4 - Schools Entrance/School Hosting: Working alongside Customer Service Officers to assist school groups as they arrive and get started on their visit to the museum. Shifts are on Monday - Friday, term time only. In one of the busiest of volunteering roles, school hosts work closely with Customer Service Officers to welcome students into the museum, so that teachers and students can confidently move around the Museum equipped with information to make their experience an enjoyable and smooth one.

Please note: Positions in Behind the Scenes departments are limited and are first made available to our existing pool of volunteers.

In addition to Scienceworks front of house roles, volunteers with relevant skills can take part in specialised roles behind the scenes:

Working Machines Project: Contribute to the Working Machines Restoration Program with the History and Technology Department. The project encompasses Machines in Action Days, restoration of agricultural heritage machinery, as well as activation of the vehicles at local and regional community events.

Engineering Workshop Assistant (Steam Team): Contribute to the maintenance and restoration of the following machinery and fittings in the Spotswood Pumping Station. This includes dismantling machinery and fittings, many components of which are heavy and/or grimy. Clean same and apply protective coatings to them, repairing damaged parts and making new parts. Reassembling machinery and fittings and mounting fittings and fixtures.

Machines in Action Day: To demonstrate operation of engines, machinery and motor vehicles which are normally displayed in the Scienceworks garage, this includes operating working engines/machinery and occasionally motor vehicles, explaining operation of static exhibits, undertaking day to day cleaning and maintenance and keeping the garage tidy. An ability to explain exhibits to general public is essential.

Requirements for all steam related positions: A keen interest in mechanical engineering and its history, with previous experience restoring vehicles and/or machinery; must have no objections to getting dirty in the course of the work (protective clothing supplied); a Victorian drivers licence is required for Machines in Action Day.

Highly desirable for all machinery related positions: Qualifications in one or more of the following: mechanical engineering, marine engineering, fitting and turning, plumbing, boiler making or steam engine driving.

To register your interest in volunteering at Scienceworks, e-mail swvolunteers@museum.vic.gov.au