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Public Programs Manager


The Public Programs Manager collaborates with the Education/Programs, Exhibits, and Operations teams to develop and supervise innovative interpretive programs and experiences for the general public at Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. The Public Programs Manager is responsible for the long-range planning, execution, and success of gallery and weekend public programs, evening and peak-season programming, birthday parties, and preschool programs.

Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Develops, manages, and evaluates gallery and weekend public programs, including activity stations, science demonstrations, and other informal learning experiences for general museum visitors, as well as evening and peak-season programming, birthday parties, and preschool programs. Serves as lead facilitator and model of best practices
  2. Supervises the administration of birthday parties including scheduling and record-keeping
  3. Collaborates with Program and Education Manager Team to hire, train, evaluate, and supervise staff, create staff schedules, provide professional development, and maintain program quality
  4. Works with exhibit, education/programs, and operations staff to provide long-range planning of gallery and weekend public programs as well as evening and peak-season programming.
  5. Oversees maintenance, inventory, and storage of related program materials and spaces
  6. Manages contracts, scheduling, evaluation, and collection of tax and payment documentation for performers and guest presenters
  7. In consultation with the Director of Programs, Director of Operations, Director of Finance, and Executive Director, develops annual expense budget for birthdays and gallery programs.
  8. Supports grant writing and reporting efforts for related programs
  9. Serves as one of the Museum’s official liaisons to the visiting public and media partners, providing thorough attention to the comfort of the guests and the delivery of a positive museum experience
  10. Actively participates in the on-duty staff rotation
  11. Other duties as assigned

Additional Duties

  1. Gains familiarity with all education department programs in order to deliver any program as necessary
  2. Gains familiarity with the organization and management of Museum operations, especially assisting on weekends
  3. Attends staff meetings and required events such as volunteer recognition, membership, and fundraising events
  4. Provides phone support by answering general phone calls

Supervisory Responsibility

This position has shared supervisory responsibility for General Educators, Program Coordinators, and Volunteers.

Work Environment

The work is primarily indoors in a museum environment with some exposure to dust, fumes, and chemicals from exhibit materials. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud, especially when delivering programs to large groups.  

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. This is an active role that regularly requires reaching, standing, walking, bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching, crawling, sitting on the floor, and climbing stairs. The employee will regularly lift and/or move items that weigh up to 45 pounds. The role will also regularly require sitting/standing for extended periods of time. Extended computer use is required.


Limited local travel is required to attend events and community meetings, or visit offsite departments. May occasionally travel to regional or national conferences and trainings.

Required Education and Experience

Minimum of four years of related experience or a Bachelor’s degree, is required. Strong organization and project management abilities; ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Excellent verbal and written communication skills with demonstrated ability to communicate with a broad range of ages and interests. Patience and understanding in managing potentially difficult situations. Ability to stay calm when dealing with emergencies. Ability to multi-task, stay organized, and work collegially within a small organization. Demonstrated leadership and training skills. Must be extremely service-oriented and work well within a team environment. General computer literacy.

Preferred Education and Experience

A Bachelor’s degree or certification in early childhood education, science, science education or technology, museum studies, or a related field. Experience in Museum or non-profit administration.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

A valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation is required.


Full Time, Exempt
Wednesday-Sunday (9:00am – 5:30pm) with the occasional after-hours/off-hours required.

Start Date

January 1, 2019; Negotiable upon hire.


$29,000 - $33,000 +Benefits

To Apply

Please email your current resume and answers to the following four questions to All submitted materials must be in PDF form. To be considered for a first-round interview, apply by December 14. This position is open until filled.

  1. Please describe what you see as the role and purpose of the Public Programs Manager position for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Include how you believe this position should impact our visitors, our staff, and our community. (Max. 150 words)
  2. Describe a work or volunteer experience that demonstrates the skills and/or characteristics you have that would make you an effective public programs manager. (Max. 150 words)
  3. Please share a story from your work experience about when you made a mistake. Describe the situation. What did you do? What was the outcome? What did you learn or what would you do differently in the future? (Max. 300 words)
  4. Explain your understanding of diversity and inclusion. What does commitment to diversity and inclusion at our museum look like to you? (Max. 300 words)


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Birthday Party Facilitator

Position Description:

Birthday Party Facilitators are responsible for facilitating 2½-hour Museum birthday parties. Parties are for 15 children and 20 adults and include a tour of the Museum, a host-lead science activity, and assistance with food and celebration with the guests.


  • Assist families with set-up, clean-up, and celebration
  • Lead children on a tour of the Museum, which includes explanation of the exhibits
  • Lead a hands-on science project
  • Provide supervision of the children the entire span of the party


  • Positive and friendly attitude at all times
  • Ability to “go with the flow” and handle unexpected situations
  • Comfort with talking to groups of people
  • Punctuality and reliability


Weekend hours only, Saturday 9am – 5pm; Sunday 12pm – 4pm. Must be available a minimum of 5-6 weekend days a month. Priority given to those that are available year round after the Holiday season.


$10 per hour.

To apply:

Fill out and submit the Online Employment Application.

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Front Desk Staff

Position Description:

Must be a computer literate “people person” who is able to pay attention to details and accurately handle money. The ability to multi-task in a prompt, polite and helpful manner is a must.


  • Responsible for all phases of customer service in the Museum store, including greeting customers, selection and facilitating sales
  • Duties include cash register operation, balancing the cash drawer
  • Pricing new stock, restocking items, keeping store clean and neat and helping with displays and merchandising


  • Ability to communicate effectively with general public
  • Positive attitude
  • Ability to handle high volume sales
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Basic math skills and ability to make change


Available hours include Monday 9-5:30, Tuesday 8:45-5:30, Wednesday 9-5:30, Thursday 9-8:30, Friday 9-5:30, Saturday 9-5:30, and Sunday 11:30-5:30. Occasional evening and early morning hours are scheduled based on special events.


$10 per hour with incremental raises

To apply:

Fill out and submit the Online Employment Application.

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Visit Us

220 E. Ann St. 
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Museum Hours:

Monday: 10 - 5
Tuesday: 9 - 5
Wednesday: 10 - 5
Thursday: 10 - 8
Friday: 10 - 5
Saturday:  10 - 5
Sunday: Noon - 5

Click here for Holiday hours

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$12.50 for Adults and Children
$5 after 5pm on Thurs only
Free for Babies 0-23 months