High School Volunteers

Mote Marine Laboratory offers a competitive high school volunteer program for students interested in exploring the field of marine science and marine science education. Students who are selected for this program will have the opportunity to earn service-hour credits required for high school graduation. These opportunities may include interpreting exhibits in The Aquarium to guests, greeting guests or working in the gift shop. Training is provided for all positions. 

The application deadline is now closed for this year. Please check back in February when next year’s SHSVP Application is online.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The SHSVP is for current and entering high school students who are at least 15 years old and entering grades 9-12.
  • 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's campus on Ken Thompson Pkwy 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. 

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.

Applications for the 2019-2020 school year will be posted online in February.

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.