Five days with Learning and Programmes

Having fallen in love with the National Museum of Scotland from a young age and with an intent of studying History at University, work experience at the museum seemed only too perfect. Still… as the minutes before my experience loomed near, my nervousness heightened.

I arrived at the museum and was warmly welcomed into the hustle and bustle of the Enablers team, with whom I would be working closely in the coming days. Quickly I realised my feelings of anxiety were unnecessary.

Having met what felt like a whole herd of people, I began by helping out with workshops for school children. I was involved in several of these workshops and what struck me about them, and what was particularly enjoyable about them, was that they were so varied and versatile. In fact my whole experience of the museum was that there is never a dull moment. The workshops ranged from hydro-energy to an archaeological dig; certainly in this department they gave me a little taste of everything!

The Adventure Planet gallery.
The Adventure Planet gallery.

The staff were very approachable and happy to tell me all about the specific tasks within their jobs. Often work experience can be accused of making the student feel like a burden, but the museum staff treated me like one of them. I really appreciated being given tasks such as editing museum trails which would actually be used by school children, so I was getting the chance to be valuable as well as getting a true experience of being a museum employee.  The trails also gave me a chance to explore the museum and discover aspects of it I would not normally have fully experienced, and to get involved with the history. During one of my mornings here I even got to see the workings of a 3D printer, something most people can’t say they’ve experienced!

Early People gallery
The Early People gallery, discovered while editing school trails!

Members of the Enablers team took time out of their extremely busy schedules to talk me through their jobs and roles within the museum. It was great to hear all about what they get involved in and how they ended up in their current roles, and they even asked for my opinion and ideas about a thing or two.

Yesterday I got to have a little break from the eventful days at the museum and went on a Scottish Highlights tour. It was a lovely way to discover more and end my week here.

From singing with adorable babies to experiencing rapidly developing technology, my five short days have been wonderful. It has been a rush of excitement and I truly wish I didn’t have to leave. I am so thankful the museum gave me this awakening opportunity and I will be sure to return.

Sarah in the Kingdom of the Scots gallery
Sarah in the Kingdom of the Scots gallery.

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