Are you passionate about medical science and eager to make a difference in the community? The internship program at The Health Museum might just be the perfect fit for you. Check out the variety of opportunities we offer as your pathway toward a career in museum services or medical science.

College Internship and Work Study

We welcome applications from students at the University of Houston, University of Houston – Downtown, Texas Women’s University, Sam Houston University, and Rice University. For application details, please visit your university’s network.

About this Internship

Welcome to the DeBakey Cell Lab High School Internship Program, an exciting opportunity for high-school students with the passion to explore the fascinating world of biomedical science, and gain hands-on experience in a lab setting. 

Our 6-week internship program provides personal and professional development for students during the summer. As an intern, you will have the opportunity to learn about the biomedical science happening in the lab and communicate with visitors, honing your communication skills.

Program duration: 6 weeks, June 17th – July 27th, 2024

Application deadline: April 30th


Internship Highlights

As a DeBakey Cell Lab Intern, you’ll also be part of the museum team facilitating the DeBakey Cell Lab experience. The DeBakey Cell Lab is a bilingual (English/Spanish), hands-on wet biology lab that opens the world of basic biology to the public, enabling them to experience how science is done in the real world.

In this free-choice learning environment, guests can don lab coats, gloves, and goggles and perform science experiments using lab equipment. Computer-guided workstations, known as activity benches, lead our guests step-by-step through various experiments exploring cellular, molecular, and microbiology topics.

The DeBakey Cell Lab accommodates general admission guests and scheduled group visits and is the centerpiece of our on-site guest experience. The cell lab is open all seven days a week in summer, and you are expected to work 5-hour shifts any scheduled day, at least 20 hours a week, in addition to professional development hours on Saturdays. 

Intern Responsibilities

As an intern, your duties will include assisting with the lab’s daily operations, including but not limited to:

  • Preparing solutions and materials
  • Restocking workstation supplies
  • Maintaining bacterial cultures
  • Executing clean-up procedures
  • Reporting lab maintenance needs to the DeBakey Cell Lab Coordinator

You will also interact with museum guests in the lab, helping to facilitate experiment demonstrations and information in an engaging, timely, and professional manner. It’s a great way to gain confidence in science communication skills in a fun and supportive environment. 

Professional Development

Your commitment as a DeBakey Cell Lab facilitator will be rewarded with a series of conversations and training with researchers from the Texas Medical Center, covering various topics, such as genetics, data science, public health, and science communication, and is an excellent opportunity to learn about the variety of career paths in biomedical science. Detailed schedule will be sent to the selected students.

Applicant requirements

  • Must be currently enrolled in Houston Independent School District (HISD) schools
  • Ages 15 years and older (as of June 15th, 2024)
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Commit to the internship schedule
  • Curious and eager to learn
  • Enjoy interaction with diverse groups of people
  • Interests in developing communication skills  

Application deadline is April 30th. Applicants will be notified of their status in mid-May. We look forward to receiving your application and helping you take the next step as a scientist!

For more information or questions, please contact Sri Lakshmi Chalasani at schalasani@thehealthmuseum.org.

Additional Internship Opportunities

Internships at the Smithsonian Institution are as varied as the museums and research centers themselves. From Art History to Zoology, exhibit building to investments, Smithsonian Internships provide workplace-based learning experiences for a wide range of educational and career paths.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. Smithsonian Internships are workplace-based guided learning opportunities that provide participants with hands-on experience in a wide range of fields.

For almost 20 years, ExxonMobil Foundation has sponsored the Community Summer Jobs Program in Houston, which provides college undergraduates paid summer internships.

Students interested in participating must be currently enrolled undergraduate students returning to college full-time as a sophomore, junior, or senior in the fall following the summer program. Internship opportunities and instructions for applying can be found on the Apply page as they become available. 

What Do Our Interns Say?

“At first I thought it might be a boring desk job or a coffee assistant. But it was so much more than that. I was involved in all aspects of the museum and saw the results of my work. I can’t wait to come back and help with Spring Break, Teen Summit, and Camps.”

Carolina A.,
UT Austin

“Working with camps and helping out with the DeBakey Cell Lab has been super fun! The programs involving gut health have influenced me so much that I’ve decided to change my major to Bio-Tech.”

Tofunmi,
UH Honors College


Paige Burgess

Paige Burgess

Community Engagement Coordinatorpburgess@thehealthmuseum.org713-337-8455

Please reach out with questions about our internship program, or partnerships in building a healthier community