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  • New Tech-Teach Internship Program to Train DC Area High School Students

    Hard skills in technical production are returning to prominence in the United States. Eager to share knowledge and resources in these highly sought-after aptitudes, the Smithsonian looks to train young students in the art of fabrication.

    The Smithsonian Folklife Festival will facilitate an after-school workshop series for a small cohort of high school students interested in learning trades, crafts, and other technical skills that may contribute to their employability or pursuits of higher education. This five-week extracurricular program centers on drafting, carpentry, welding, metal work, safety precautions, and other elements of technical production.

    Through strategic partnerships, the program will introduce students to elements of design and fabrication, leading them from preliminary stages of conceptual design through the completed build of a 2018 Folklife Festival structure. They will work closely with industry professionals, experienced Smithsonian staff, and each other in a collaborative learning environment at the Folklife fabrication facility in Lanham, Maryland.

    Workshops will be led by Folklife staff and feature guest presenters from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds. In addition to the valuable skills training, students will receive an honorarium to assist with meals and transportation and may be offered summer internship opportunities at the Smithsonian or one of our partnering organizations.

    How to Apply

    Visit and create an account, or log in if you are a returning user. Select “Internship” and specify Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, then click on the link for “Tech-Teach Fabrication Skills Internship.” Students must be enrolled in a DC-area high school. 

    Donor and Partner Opportunities

    To ensure the success of this new program, we are seeking support in the form of cash donations, tools, equipment, raw materials, and other resources to improve the existing resources at the Folklife fabrication facility. Find out more about becoming a donor. In addition, we hope to develop partnerships with organizations that can contribute to the program and enrich the curriculum through demonstrations, presentations, field trips, and more. Find out more about partnership opportunities

    Want to learn more? We invite you to an information open house on Tuesday, February 27, between 2 and 6 p.m. Students and parents will have the chance to meet the staff, tour the facility, and learn about the tools. We will have short presentations at 3 and 4 p.m. 

    Smithsonian Folklife Festival Facility
    5000 Philadelphia Way, Suite E
    Lanham, Maryland 20706

    For more information, contact Tyler Nelson ( or Kyle Bancroft (

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