High School Volunteers

Mote Marine Laboratory offers a competitive high school volunteer program for those students who are interested in marine science and education. Students selected will have the opportunity to earn service hour credit required for high school graduation. The students will serve as Aquarium Guides and interpret exhibits to guests. Training will be provided.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The SHSVP is for current high school students or students who will enter high school in the following school year.
  • High School graduates and high school students who will graduate before July, are ineligible for the SHSVP, but may apply as a regular volunteer if they are able to serve for at least 6 months.
  • SHSVP volunteers will attend a one-day orientation prior to volunteering.
  • SHSVP volunteers must have transportation to and from Mote Marine Laboratory campus on Ken Thompson Parkway over the course of the program.
  • SHSVP volunteers must commit a minimum of eight weeks to the program through at least one 4-hour shift as an Aquarium Guide per week over the course of the program.
  • Volunteers will be selected based on application, interview, and availability.

Summer High School Volunteer Application

For questions, contact Mote's Volunteer Coordinator at volcoordinator@mote.org.

High School Interns

The Mote High School Internship Program provides high school students with a dynamic, hands-on marine science experience that complements their traditional academic studies. It’s perfect for students who are excited about marine biology, curious about Mote’s resident animals, interested in ocean conservation and ready to participate in a structured research project. The application process is competitive, and the internship requires a significant commitment of time and energy, but participation has many rewards. Interns have the opportunity to assist with real marine research projects, animal care and the delivery of our education programs to younger students. They are also invited to participate in special classes, like scuba certification and kayaking, and attend field trips, such as behind-the-scenes tours and a weekend at The Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration in Summerland Key. Students may earn volunteer hours for Bright Futures scholarships while assisting with Mote education programs.

Requirements include:

The high school internship is both a learning experience and a work experience. Students spend a minimum of 10 hours on-site at Mote every month and are asked to meet other participation benchmarks throughout the year. There is no limit to how much time you can spend at Mote. Interns chronicle their experience with pictures and posts on their own blog site.

Application Process:

Who is eligible: Students entering grades 9-12 who are enthusiastic, professional and hard-working.
Before you apply: We ask you to carefully consider with your family your ability to make a long-term time commitment to Mote and your access to consistent transportation to our facility.
Application packet: The High School Internship Application includes:

  • Student & Parent Contact Information.
  • Three Short Essays.
  • Extracurricular Activities.
  • Two Recommendation Forms to be completed by someone who knows you well, such as a teacher, academic advisor, extracurricular activity supervisor or work supervisor. Recommendations from family members will not be considered. Recommendation forms should be treated as confidential and submitted in sealed envelopes.
  • Official School Transcripts. Home school students should provide the most official grade documentation that is available.
  • This program only accepts applications in the spring for the following school year. When open, the link to the application will be linked on this page.


High School Alumni Program

Interns who successfully complete the Internship Program may be invited to apply to the Alumni Internship Program, another year-long program that allows them to work together as a team to conduct a scientific project alongside Mote research staff. 

Course Fee (required): $300 
Scuba Certification course (optional): $400
Weekend visit to The Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration on Summerland Key (optional): $500

*Scholarships are available for program fees.