The application window for the CO 2024 Internship has ended.


The Build a Better Book Teen Internship at the University of Colorado Boulder is a 4-week paid summer internship based on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. Each year, 12-16 interns from a variety of high schools in the Denver metro area complete a 100-120 hour internship, working in teams to fabricate accessible products for community clients. TVIs from partner organizations provide client profiles and project ideas for intern design projects. Client profiles typically include pre-school/kindergarten children with cortical visual impairment (CVI) and mobility challenges, as well as middle and high school students with blindness and low vision. Working in teams of 2-4 students, interns collaborate with their community client to design, fabricate, test and improve an accessible product that can be shared with the client at the end of the program.

2024 Program

The 2024 BBB Teen Internship application is closed.

The 2024 BBB Teen Internship will run June 17 - July 19, 2024 (no program the week of July 4th).
The program meets Mon / Tues / Thur / Fri from 9am - 4pm each day.

Applications (including application form and teacher reference) are due by 5pm on March 10. Applicants will be informed about their application status by March 22nd.

Note: the BBB Teen Internship application requires a Teacher Reference. Please share this link with your teacher reference:


Rising 10th-12th graders who are at least 14 years old are eligible to apply. Previous experience in engineering is not required.

Across all sites, Build a Better Book strives to provide opportunities for students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in an out-of-school-time engineering internship experience. We strongly encourage students from the following backgrounds to apply:

  • Underrepresented in science and engineering, including girls, African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native American students
  • LGBTQ+ students
  • Underserved, such as coming from low socioeconomic means, which may be indicated by qualification for free/reduced lunch
  • Potentially the first family member to attend college
  • Absence of science and engineering degrees in family
  • Coming from a high school with low admittance rates to top-tier colleges, especially rural or predominantly minority high schools

All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Program Structure

The 4-week BBB Teen Internship is designed to provide interns with an authentic engineering design experience in a workplace setting. For most of the internship, students work collaboratively in project teams to design and produce a product for a community client. Additional experiences, including campus field trips, tours and guest speakers, complement this hands-on learning. Through the internship, students develop an understanding of:

  • Universal Design principles and empathy-driven design
  • Accessibility tools and designing for disabilities
  • Tactile and multi-modal learning styles
  • Maker Technologies, such as 3D modeling and printing, sound, computer programming (e.g., Arduino, microbit, Makerbit, GameMaker), electronics, and laser cutters
  • Characteristics of blindness, vision impairments, and other disabilities
  • 21st century workplace skills

Year 1 - Summer 2022 (pilot program)

CU Boulder hosted its pilot Engineering and Design Teen Summer Internship in summer 2022. Interns in the four-week program completed 30-35 hours per week, for a total of ~120 hours. Students designed and built tactile and accessible books and games for blind and low vision clients at the Anchor Center for Blind Children, Boulder Valley School District, Douglas County School District, and St. Joseph's School for the Blind.

Projects included:

  • Interactive, light-up storyboard for children with CVI based on The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Interactive, light-up number board for children with CVI, designed for learning numbers 1-10
  • CVI pegboard book with tactile elements, based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Tactile and digital Wordle game for blind and low vision accessibility, designed for middle school students at St. Joseph's School for the Blind

Year 2 - Summer 2023

In the program's second year, interns worked Monday - Thursday for four weeks, for a total of ~100 hours. 15 interns and 1 teen mentor (from the 2022 program) worked in 5 project teams to complete projects for the following community clients: Anchor Center for Blind Children, Clovernook Publishing, a Boulder Valley School District TVI, and Douglas County School District.

Projects included:

  • Interactive, light-up giant lite brite for children with CVI at Anchor Center for Blind Children
  • Tactile garden signs for a sensory garden at Anchor Center for Blind Children
  • Tactile maps of the RTD transit system in Denver
  • An interactive, tactile book for a child with CVI
  • Tactile book prototypes designed for Clovernook Publishing, a braille publishing house