Museum Education Director

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

The Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum is the only children’s museum in Santa Barbara County and educates visitors of all ages. Santa Maria consists of a diverse population of 137,000 and is located in Northern Santa Barbara County on California’s Central Coast, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city’s economy is based on retail, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The Museum features 13,000-square-feet of exhibits and a new 1,200-square-feet makerspace, both of which serve more than 34,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s exhibits and programs are specially crafted to create a “please touch” atmosphere to stimulate the best in learning and discovery for children and adults. These offerings generate the perfect opportunity for a creative and motivated individual to meet the current demand and future growth of the Museum’s program and educational development.

Primary Responsibilities:

The Museum Education Director ensures that all guests, families and school groups have an outstanding educational experience. Your day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with the executive director to develop the museum’s educational strategy
  • Meeting overall educational objectives of the museum as set forth by the board of directors and executive director
  • Researching, designing, and implementing engaging educational programming for existing and new exhibits, including curriculum-aligned field trips for preschool through elementary school classes and museum-in-motion programs
  • Collaborating with experts in the appropriate academic fields on developing and implementing exhibit programming including securing volunteer program facilitators
  • Collaborating with executive director on budget and timelines for exhibit program development and implementation
  • Producing educational resources and parent/educator study packs
  • Training, coordinating and supervising program assistants and volunteers on implementation of exhibit educational programming and activities
  • Developing and hosting events related to the Museum’s mission or selected educational themes including school break and summer camps
  • Representing the Museum’s in media and at public events as authorized by executive director
  • Collaborating with marketing team to promote educational programming, exhibits and events
  • Attending relevant professional trainings
  • Remaining current on trends and ideas in child development, literacy, science, art, and education
  • Evaluating program effectiveness through assessment of learning outcomes, analysis of data collected during assessment efforts, and interpretation of evaluation findings
  • Other duties as assigned

A successful Museum Education Director will:

  • Have a passion for child development and education
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of formal and informal education and the importance of play in the development of children
  • Have knowledge of STEAM education and associated activities
  • Have the ability to write engaging, age appropriate lesson plans that align with Common Core Curriculum and National Science Standards
  • Have a desire to educate children in a fun and engaging way
  • Be friendly and accessible and willing to work with individuals of all ages
  • Possess superior organizational skills to oversee the creation of educational programing of ALL museum and makerspace exhibits
  • Ability to learn and master museum software platforms and essential computer knowledge including program budget development and monitoring
  • Possess outstanding written and verbal communication skills, as well as strong organizational skills and the ability to pay close attention to detail
  • Have knowledge and experience of successful educational grant writing
  • Work collaboratively with other team members and be comfortable working independently

The Museum Education Director will perform teaching duties and other outreach support activities. These duties typically include:

  • Ensuring a welcoming and helpful atmosphere at the entrance and exit of the museum
  • Providing information for guests
  • Organizing and conducting tours and workshops for museum visitors
  • Teaching on-site as well as off-site programs to school groups
  • Acting as a community liaison among artists, technicians, administrators, teachers and volunteers participating in museum events
  • Planning, leading, implementing, and following through on meetings and events


Educational certification preferred. Will consider individuals that possess an Early Childhood Education certification or AA degree, individuals currently enrolled in a teacher’s credential program and/or individuals that possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree with relevant experience or qualified with training and/or experience that match the position description.

Background Check Disclaimer
A background check (including criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants.

This position is an hourly, 32-hour position. The work schedule is determined by the needs, objectives and deadlines that are presented at any given time with some evenings and weekends required.

To Apply:

Please submit via email resume, cover letter and 2 professional references to Nancy Gastelum, Executive Director, nancy@smvdiscoverymuseum.org
Or mail to,

Nancy Gastelum, Executive Director
705 S. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454

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