Job Details

Maker Studio Specialist

Portland Children's Museum, 4015 SW Canyon Rd, Portland OR, 97221

Job - Education

Close Date: 02/28/2019

Maker Studio Specialist
Museum Experience Department
Job Status: Full-Time/Non-Exempt (40 hours/week)
Work Schedule: Sunday-Thursday; 8:45 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
Pay: $13.00/hour

To develop innovative problem-solvers through playful learning experiences that strengthen relationships between children and their world.

Portland Children’s Museum consists of three aligned entities: (1) the Museum, where exhibits and programs serve the public both on- and off-site, (2) Opal School, a fee-based preschool and K-5 public charter school, and (3) the Museum Center for Learning, which documents and disseminates fresh approaches to education and provides professional development for educators. In this description, Museum, School, and Center refer to the specific entity, while Portland Children’s Museum (or, “the organization”) refers to the whole.

In the Portland metro area, 47% of students are children of color. At Portland Children's Museum, we strive to have our guests reflect that diversity, and for our staff and board to be equally diverse. We are committed to eliminating barriers to access and equity and see a diverse workforce as a key step to this goal. We actively seek to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a diverse workforce—one that welcomes and engages people from every background. We value staff members, volunteers, and board members whose backgrounds further our ability to serve and learn from the diverse families that enrich our community. We invite you to join us on our journey.

The Maker Studio Specialist helps the Museum fulfill its mission by developing and facilitating visitor-driven explorations with recycled materials for children and families with an emphasis on problem-solving, invention, and skill building. This hands-on position oversees daily operations of the Maker Studio, engages with visitors through programs and workshops, and encourages experimentation and creativity using a variety of tools and materials. The Maker Studio Specialist is responsible for processing and organizing materials, developing experiences, tracking expenses, training staff and volunteers, and communicating relevant information to staff and guests.


Facilitate and Engage (50%)

• Welcome and orient visitors to the Maker Studio in an engaging manner.
• Facilitate open-ended activities, collaborations, and workshops that align with the Museum’s learning approach of Playful Inquiry.
• Support visitors’ creative explorations through positive interactions, demonstrations, and verbal prompts.
• Model welcoming, visitor-driven facilitation and interaction techniques for staff and caregivers.
• Observe how visitors engage with the materials, environment, and each other, and seek ways to deepen their engagement.

Manage Materials, Environment, and Budget (30%)

• Order, solicit, organize, and distribute all materials and tools for studio programming, including sourcing and prepping recycled materials and donations.
• Ensure a safe, clean, and accessible studio space for staff and visitors.
• Cultivate an inspiring studio environment with rotating collaborations and child-produced work on display.
• Assist with short- and long-term planning and improvements to the Maker Studio.
• Maintain a budget, track expenses, and make recommendations to meet or exceed budget goals.
• Stay current with studio innovations in other institutions and develop a network of maker-space colleagues.

Communicate and Document (20%)

• Train Museum Experience Facilitators to work in the Maker Studio, including best practices with tools and materials, and keep them up-to-date on new policies and activities.
• Answer visitors’ questions about the Maker Studio, including inquiries made by phone and email.
• Observe and document visitors’ behavior in writing, through sketches, and/or in photographs.
• Identify opportunities for volunteers to support the Maker Studio; collaborate with the
Community Engagement Manager to recruit and engage volunteers.
• Prepare presentations to outside groups and organizations about the work and the innovative designs created by our guests.

• Associates Degree or equivalent work experience; STEM, art, and/or early childhood education background preferred.
• One-year experience working with children and/or families developing hands-on education programs required.
• Knowledge and experience using various tools and materials such as woodworking, wiring, electronics, sewing, and recycled construction.
• Trained and able to communicate the safe and proper use of tools.
• Experience working with diverse audiences desired.
• Bilingual preferred.

• Educational philosophy aligned with Museum vision, mission, and values.
• Genuine passion and curiosity about how young children and families make meaning using various materials.
• Capacity to work in a fast-paced environment with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and disciplines.
• Team-player who is dependable, self-motivated, and has a positive, playful attitude.
• Excellent communication and customer service skills.
• Able to prioritize tasks, problem-solve, and meet deadlines.
• Strong commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

This position is a full-time position (40 hours per week), Sunday through Thursday, with the majority of time spent in the Maker Studio as well as some time in a semi-quiet shared office environment. This position requires standing and the ability to bend. Employee must be able to work temporary shifts; some early morning, evening, and/or weekend work is required. Because we work with children, a background check is required. This position also requires dependability, with regular and reliable attendance, and the ability and willingness to comply with all aspects of the Portland Children’s Museum Employee Handbook.

We strongly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented minority groups, people experiencing disabilities, and others who would bring additional dimensions of experience to our community.

Please send a resume and cover letter with “Maker Studio Specialist” in the subject line to

No phone calls or in-person visits, please.

Complete details: