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Call for an ESC volunteer!

Looking for a motivated ESC volunteer to join our team in Science Centre AHHAA!

The European Solidarity Corps is the new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer in projects abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe. ESC voluntary project offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop.

More information about European Solidarity Corps programme: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/mission_en


Basic Information 

  • Venue: Science Centre AHHAA (Tartu, Estonia)
  • Duration: 2-12 Months
  • Number of Vacancies: 1
  • Candidates: 18-29 years old
  • Application deadline: ongoing


General information
 

AHHAA is a science centre that aims to introduce science to everyone and encourages studying through the joy of discovery. We value education and our mission is to shape the knowledge-based mind set through aha- experiences which uniquely comes through by experimenting and discovering independently using „hands-on“ approach. The intention is to bring out the fun in science and inspire people to „Think playfully”.

AHHAA welcomes visitors of all ages which include students and kindergartners, teachers and instructors, families, science enthusiasts, tourism groups, schools and other educational institutions. In addition to permanent exhibition visitors of AHHAA can take part in workshops, enjoy planetarium and science theatre shows. AHHAA offers a great opportunity to spend a fun day filled with science!

Through the voluntary project AHHAA Centre is aiming to give opportunities for young people to engage in science communication and contribute to education. At the same time challenge themselves as well, develop their skills and various competences. The volunteer will learn the daily tasks of the Centre and will be involved in giving out information and communicating with the visitors, carrying out different science based activities to the public such as workshops and experiments. We also give priority to new ideas and volunteers’ personal initiatives that contribute to development of knowledge, solidarity and equal opportunities.

Whilst the permanent staff members have good proficiency in English the main working language in the Centre is Estonian therefore the volunteer will experience foreign language as a tool for working and the volunteer should be prepared for that. The volunteer will join the AHHAA team under the supervision of a tutor and a mentor.

What we offer to the volunteer:

Our organisation offers different learning experiences throughout the volunteering period. Overall the volunteer will get introduced to how the centre works on popularising science and which methods are being used to make it more fun and approachable. In daily tasks the volunteer will interact with the visitors, carry out different science based experiments and workshops. We also offer a possibility to contribute creatively to the tasks and welcome new ideas and initiatives. Additionally the volunteer will be involved in promoting AHHAA Centre in his/her unique way as well as European Voluntary Service and other Erasmus+ opportunities. During the time in Estonia the volunteer will experience different culture and values. The volunteer will have a chance to interact with young people from various backgrounds and origins.

Our working language in the centre is Estonian, so the volunteer will experience foreign language as a tool for working and the volunteer should be prepared for that. However the staff members have good proficiency in English and can always help the volunteer if need be. The volunteer will develop his/her communication in English and hopefully will gain some Estonian language skills as well.

The volunteer will join our AHHAA team under the supervision of a mentor.


Overview of the volunteers’ activities 

  • Mainly the volunteer would be involved in AHHAA Science Centre as a guide;
  • The volunteer will learn to carry out science based activities of the Centre and take part of trainings provided;
  • The volunteer would be helping the permanent staff in their activities;
  • Prepare activities and help out during the biggest event of the year - the Researchers’ Night Festival;
  • Create and coordinate own personal project to the best of the participants knowledge and ability;
  • Foster science communication and equal opportunities throughout the project;
  • Additionally be involved with the promotional activities of AHHAA in and outside the Centre;
  • Raise awareness about Erasmus+ opportunities for young people; 


Further information about the volunteer's life
 

  • Accommodation:  The volunteer will be housed in a local student dormitory which has all the modern facilities and is located within a walking distance from the city centre and the AHHAA Centre. Most likely the volunteer will share a room with a person of same gender. All the costs will be covered for the volunteer. When living in the dormitory the volunteers will have to follow the rules set by the dormitory of Estonian University of Life Sciences (http://yhikas.emu.ee/en/).
  • Food allowance: The volunteer will receive 6 euros per service day for food allowance.
  • Pocket money: Additionally the volunteer will receive 4 euros per service day for pocket money.
  • Local transport: The volunteer will be provided with a local transport card and expenses concerning local transport will be covered. A bike is available for use.
  • Language support: The volunteer will be provided an online Estonian class.
 

Volunteer's profile 

We are seeking to host a friendly, communicative, open, patient person with a can-do attitude. Interest for science is significant, but more important is the capacity to learn and willingness to get better. Volunteer should be adaptable and be able to react accordingly in fast changing situations. Creative and enterprising spirit is favoured since we expect the volunteer’s initiative to carry out personal projects. Furthermore we wish that the volunteers are as enthusiastic to shear their culture with us as we are to discover it.

Selection process

All the applicants will be considered, but those who show the most potential and motivation to volunteer will receive invitation for a Skype interview during which we will find out more about the candidates. After the interviews the final selection will be made.

If you are seeking for voluntary experience in the field of science communication then contact sarah.lill@ahhaa.ee for more detailed information and link to application form.



What is it like to volunteer at AHHAA?

Mariana from Portugal spent nine months at AHHAA (February to November 2017) and we're very glad that she was willing to share her impressions with the others! Here's what Mariana has to say about her time as a volunteer:


I came to Estonia to volunteer in Tartu AHHAA Science Centre for nine months and it's incredible how fast time passes by!

The beginning was easy because the integration to the work environment was not difficult, since my colleagues were very nice and supportive towards me, helping whenever I needed, the same can be said to my coordinating organization in Tartu.

At the science centre, I worked as a guide. My tasks include checking the different halls and help the visitors with some exhibits, make group introductions, do workshops (chocolate factory, eye surgery, lava lamp, etc).

I also took part in a cultural festival in Lithuania aiming to promote the centre; I was involved in the organization of an event related to the initiative "European Researchers' Night"; and also in a scholar night camp at the centre.

I loved living in Tartu. It's a cozy city and not too big despite being the second biggest city of the country. I was staying at an university dormitory, which allowed me to meet many people and make friends very easily.

Besides, I also had the chance to organize a Portuguese cultural evening and to give a lecture about Portugal to a class of international students (between 7 and 9 years old).

In my free time, I travelled within Estonia and to some neighbor countries with colleagues, friends or other volunteers I've met.

I only have good things to point out about this project and all the people involved on it! :)