The Door to More Opportunities

science center building

A photo of the Carnegie Science Center 

 

The Door to More Opportunities

Gabby Lynch, STEM Education Curriculum Assistant -Spring 2022 

A first internship can be daunting – a new environment with new people and different expectations. The Carnegie Science Center was my first internship within the museum field, and though there were elements that were new to me, this was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door.    

The Carnegie Science Center is not a typical museum experience, as there is more reliance on interactive exhibits to further the education of children and less emphasis on the historical aspects one would see at a traditional museum. Due to the nature of the science center, the work I completed was focused on the STEM education lesson plans that are used at educational camps over the summer.    

My position was mostly remote with bi-weekly constructive meetings with my supervisor Julie Bowman, manager of camps and public experiences, to discuss these lesson plans. With each lesson plan, I would review current and past curriculum to verify content and usability based on criteria provided. This granted me the opportunity to display my attention to detail, as arguably one of my most important duties was to make sure the data and information being taught to the students was updated, correct, and appropriate. For example, when discussing people living on mars, the lesson was titled, “colonization” - which, despite being technically correct in the context of colonizing the planet Mars, it is also a word with other meanings. Since many of their lesson plans have more fun titles like, “Makey Makey Projects”, I proposed that it would be best to change this title. Along with this, coming from a STEM background, trying to make sure that all scientific information was up to date with modern research on climate change, coding, the brain, etc. was one of my more important duties, as it would be taught to kids.  

Along with content review, I was able to sort and label files based on usability and other specifications as identified. This helped to create, design, and organize a categorical library of educational curriculum. This not only helped me in enhancing my organizational skills, but also in getting to better understand the kind of detail and effort that goes into educational content within the museum field. This element of the internship allowed me to use and grow my communication skills, to better prepare me for future work environments.  

Though the Carnegie Science Center is not a traditional museum experience, it shares many similarities with other institutions in the way it values the importance of the educational experience of its visitors. It is this kind of effort in educational content that allows many museums to complete their goals of educating the public and allow for more opportunities in the STEM field. 

Categories: 
  • Academic Interns
  • Undergraduate Work