Urban STEAM and Agriculture Educator Donald Danforth Plant Science Center


The Education Research and Outreach Laboratory (EROL) at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) is seeking a highly motivated individual for a full-time position to develop and implement 6-12th grade STEAM+Ag activities, involving students doing research, for the Jackie Joyner Kersee Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition (JJK FAN) Innovation Center in East St Louis, IL. For more information on the DDPSC’s STEAM+Ag curriculum with authentic research experiences (AREs) for 6-12th-grade students in genetics, molecular biology, image analytics, and more, please visit our webpage. For more information on the JJK FAN program, please see our description.

Company Bio: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center:

Founded in 1998, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is an independent, non-profit organization with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Our focus is scientific research at the nexus of food, energy, and the environment to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. We assemble interactive teams of scientists and develop unique platforms to discover underlying principles about how plants work. We then convert that knowledge into valuable crops and products, and partner with organizations that are best positioned to solve problems where they exist around the world. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is proudly an equal employment opportunity employer. Employment decisions at the Danforth Center are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Our policy is that the Danforth Center does not discriminate in employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, and status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities. As a federal contractor, the Danforth Center is required to comply with the 2021 Executive Order mandating full vaccination status of employees by December 8, 2021 unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation due to physical disability or sincerely held religious belief. If you need a reasonable accommodation to access the information provided on this website, please contact Human Resources, at 314-587-1033 for further assistance.

About the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Food, Agriculture, Nutrition Innovation Center (JJK-FAN):

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Food, Agriculture, Nutrition Innovation Center (JJK-FAN) is a public-private partnership with the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. By leveraging the expertise of the three organizations, the JJK-FAN Innovation Center is working to build community capacity to address food access, while shaping experiences for youth in STEAM-Ag, nutrition, and wellness. The JJK FAN Innovation Center is committed to equip youth with the career and life skills to actively play a role in shaping the future of our food systems. The JJK FAN Innovation Center is committed to developing a circular approach with K-12 students to expand opportunities in agriculture, food production, and nutrition with a heavy focus on hands-on learning and exploration of career opportunities in the food and plant sciences in the St. Louis area. The JJK FAN Innovation Center will create pathways for students to fund and persist in post-high school training that allow them to obtain career-expanding opportunities in the Metro area fueling vibrancy in the communities they call home.


  • Within the designated area(s) of specialization, work with EROL education researchers to develop innovative STEAM+Ag curricula and programs to address the local needs of the East St. Louis, IL community, as well as to align with the broader state and national interdisciplinary initiatives
  • Deliver/Disseminate STEAM+Ag educational content to K-12 youth enrolled at the JJK FAN Innovation Center’s informal education program during after-school and summer programming hours
  • Work with a diverse set of stakeholders and partners to facilitate programmatic success
  • Conduct evaluation of the educational program activities and make appropriate changes and suggest recommendations for program improvement
  • Maintain and update required program records and data
  • Provide bi-weekly program updates at EROL laboratory team meetings
  • Meet regularly with the JJK FAN Director and partner team members, contributing to program development, reporting, and evaluation.
  • Provide written annual reports to the DDPSC and assist in quarterly updates for FAN Innovation Center leadership teams
  • Work with schools and other strategic community partners to integrate STEAM+Ag programming
  • Participate in professional development opportunities
  • Provide mentorship for JJK FAN instructor trainees
  • Collaborate with internship coordinator(s) to recommend and place students into external internships
  • Comply with Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications / Requirements

  • Ability to provide program leadership, interpret, and integrate science, technology, engineering, math, plant, agriculture, and crop sciences (STEAM+Ag) educational information, teach in the field of designated expertise, and maintain the competencies to develop and deliver STEAM+Ag educational programming
  • Ability to deliver high-impact programs to diverse audiences utilizing a selection of innovative communication mechanisms to optimize reach and effectiveness
  • Ability to creatively engage educationally with young learners with STEAM+Ag resources
  • Ability to work effectively and independently with diverse teams of educators
  • Ability to adapt 6-12 STEAM+Ag educational resources to diverse learners in informal education settings
  • Ability to adapt to a changing environment in terms of daily schedules, lessons, students, etc.
  • Skills in communicating and collaborating with diverse audiences (e.g., ethnicity, socioeconomic, age)
  • Ability to operate computer systems and applications for data management and presentations (e.g., Microsoft Office, Google suite)
  • Attention to detail and prioritizing tasks
  • Ability to multitask
  • Flexibility to travel between Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, and JJK FAN Center in East St. Louis, IL, must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion
  • Candidates must be able to accommodate after-school program hours, during the school year until 6 pm, and 3 pm during the summer, some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends
  • Ability to work in a variety of environmental factors including, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground
  • Ability to lift and move items frequently weighing up to twenty (20) pounds, that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds, ability to perform twisting, pushing, and pulling movements
  • Live the Danforth Center values: Collaboration, Diversity & Inclusion, Innovation, Integrity & Respect, Environmental Sustainability, and Stewardship


  • BS/BA in science, agriculture, education, or similar discipline
  • Experience with after school or informal education preferred
  • Basic understanding of principles and applications of geospatial technologies (e.g., drones, geographic information systems)
  • A valid driver’s license is preferred
  • Candidates familiar with the East St. Louis, IL community to facilitate community interactions are preferred


  • Cover letter clearly describing your experience with STEAM+Ag education and geospatial technologies
  • CV
  • Contact information for two (2) professional references