Powerhouse | STEM Outreach Champion

2019-2020 Program Year

Team UP AmeriCorps Member Position Description:

STEM Outreach Champion

The Program: Team UP is a Collective Impact initiative serving Dolores and Montezuma Counties in southwest Colorado. Since 2015, Team UP has operated under its backbone organization, United Way of Southwest Colorado (UWSWC). Team UP’s mission is to provide a comprehensive system of support to every child in our counties, from cradle to career. Team UP collaborates across sectors and promotes clear communication towards common progress in order to make a big difference.

The Powerhouse (TPh) is an all-ages interactive Science Center and Maker Lab located in the rural Four Corners region of Southwest Colorado. TPh’s mission is to spark curiosity, ignite imagination and power exploration. TPh provides hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exhibits and experiences for 20,000+ people each year. Visitors to the TPh experience innovative and sophisticated STEM concepts in a fun and welcoming environment.

AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National & Community Service, and has been called “the domestic Peace Corps.” AmeriCorps provides opportunities that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs.

Service Position Summary: 

Under the general direction of the Education Director, the STEM Outreach Champion executes and facilitates education programs with a focus on outreach, develops and compiles curriculum, and contributes to program organization, implementation and evaluation.  The STEM Outreach Champion also assists with programming and teaching in the Maker Lab utilizing 3D printers, laser cutter, metal shop, CNC router, and woodshop.

Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities): 

  • With assistance from, and in collaboration with the Education Director, launch and manage the Outreach Program, including Geek Squad theatrical performances, in-class field trips, after-school programs, mobile maker labs, and other outreach opportunities. Teach Outreach Programs in the Four Corners Region.
  • Reach out to schools, libraries, and community partners to make connections and inform them about educational opportunities. 
  • Design new in-classroom lessons, projects for the mobile maker lab, and performance demonstrations for outreach programs. Update old outreach curriculum to better fit new standards and objectives. 
  • Coordinate specific program logistics, organize correspondence with parents/teachers, plan curriculum, gather materials, collect statistics, operate within a limited budget and coordinate with the marketing director to effectively promote the program. 
  • Help expand the FIRST Lego League Robotics programs to all five SW Colorado counties by mentoring, recruiting, and possibly coaching. 
  • Collaborate with the Director of Education to develop and implement evaluation strategies to accurately track, document, and measure program effectiveness; recommend programmatic changes as needed.
  • Communicate with the regional Team UP AmeriCorps team, and represent Team UP and Serve Colorado in the community and on social media; 
  • Attend trainings and participate in Days of Service

Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities): 

  • Execute and assist with a variety of education programs in the Powerhouse and Maker Lab, including day and week camps, early education programs, FIRST LEGO League robotics teams, field trips, afterschool Sudden Science and outreach programs.
  • Execute and assist with a variety of public programs, including floor demonstrations and early education programs, garden programs and intern programs.
  • Create new and unique curriculum for Science Center and Maker Lab education programs as needed; align curriculum with state science standards and partnership requirements.  
  • Assist the Education Director with mentoring, training, evaluating and supervising high school and college interns, especially pertaining to science content, program lessons and camps.
  • Support United Way of SW Colorado, The Powerhouse and Team UP AmeriCorps team as appropriate and necessary.

Physical, Emotional, and intellectual Demands:

  • Communication – Must have excellent written and oral communication skills with ability to develop and deliver dynamic, engaging lessons to diverse audiences of all ages in a positive, rewarding manner. Can communicate with students, families and school staff. 
  • Entrepreneurial – Proficiency in or willing to learn science and maker concepts. Willing to learn from mistakes. 
  • Willing to be goofy and wear wacky costumes.
  • Community Relations – Must establish sound relationships with community members to promote and foster collaborative relationships
  • Teamwork – Must be a professional, responsible, reliable and motivated team player with strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Judgment – Exercise discretion and sound independent judgment 
  • Multi-Tasking – Must serve under pressure in a fast-paced environment, prioritize multiple competing tasks and demands and seek supervisory assistance as appropriate
  • Emergencies – Must assist museum visitors in the event of a fire or other emergency
  • Fitness – Physical ability to lift up to 75 lbs and standing for long hours through the day.
  • Comfortable and competent working with potentially noxious/hazardous chemicals.


  • Ethic of national and community service, strong desire to create positive change
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate: working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, PowerPoint, Internet navigation and research required
  • Skills or experience preferred: community and volunteer organizing; theatrical experience or ability to be geeky and wear wacky costumes in front of large audiences. Prefer minimum of one year of teaching experience, science laboratory or field work experience, and experience working with live animals and science laboratory chemicals 
  • Experience with children preferable: Ability to work with ages 3-12 years-old
  • Willing and eager to learn tools in the MakerLab such as laser cutters, sewing machines, 3D printers and welding. 
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check. 
  • High School graduate required, Bachelor’s degree in education or science-related field preferred
  • Reliable transportation, proof of auto insurance if you will be transporting others in your vehicle
  • U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required  

Term of Service – Time Commitment: This is a full-time national and community service position requiring, at a minimum, a total of 1,700 hours during the year (approximately 40 hours/week.) The position begins September 3, 2019 and ends August 31, 2020. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Service on the following dates is required (note that Days of Service dates are subject to change): 

  • September 3-4: Team UP AmeriCorps Member Orientation (2 days, 1 night,) Dolores
  • September 5: Site Specific Training at The Powerhouse, Durango
  • September 11: Day of Service and Remembrance 
  • October: Statewide AmeriCorps Retreat, location in Colorado to be determined
  • January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
  • March 31: Cesar Chavez Day of Service 
  • 4 additional Team UP AmeriCorps Trainings, dates and locations to be determined

Trainings and Support Provided: Team UP AmeriCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable, approved trainings. Member will be supervised and supported by Donitza Ivanovich, education director,  education@powsci.org  and Wayne LaBar, executive director, wayne@powsci.org  as well as Al Huckins, AmeriCorps Program Director (alh@unitedway-swco.org). The 11 Team UP AmeriCorps members serving throughout the region will act as resources and support for each other.

Location and Service Conditions: 

This position is based at 

The Powerhouse 

1333 Camino Del Rio Durango CO 81301. 

Position is office-based, and will involve frequent days of service with students either in a classroom at the Powerhouse or off-site. 

Benefits: Team UP AmeriCorps members receive:

  • A living allowance of $17,000/year for full-time members. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed monthly, by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
  • Health insurance for full-time members; child care assistance for full-time members, if eligible. 
  • An education award of $6,095 upon successful completion of term of service. It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
  • Mileage reimbursement will paid at the IRS rate for travel to required trainings and days of service. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.
  • Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.


Diversity and Equal Opportunity: United Way values the diversity of our community.  In principle and in practice the diverse nature of our board, staff, and volunteers is recognized as one of our best assets.  We respect each individual’s unique gifts and prohibit unfair or discriminatory practices against anyone because of age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and any other protected category.

To Apply: To apply to be an AmeriCorps member, you need to create an account with the AmeriCorps Recruitment System. The application period opens July 15, 2018, and the deadline is August 5, 2018.

  • Go to the website: my.americorps.gov, click on “Apply to Serve” at the bottom of the page. 
  • Complete the requested profile information. (You will need a Social Security number and valid address, telephone number, and email.) 
  • Once you receive your account information via email, log on to the myAmeriCorps portal and use the navigation pane on the left to complete your application and references. 
  • When your application is complete, click “Search Listings.” Type “United Way of Southwest Colorado” into the Program Name field, click “Search.” Click the listing and submit your application to United Way of Southwest Colorado.