I have just completed eight-weeks’ work experience at National Museums Scotland in the Learning and Programmes department. This is unusual, as most work experience placements last a week, but thanks to Learning Officer Sarah Cowie, I was able to spend eight Thursday afternoons with the team. I used this opportunity to expand my experiences in S6, my final year at school before I go off to study History and Sociology at Glasgow University.
My time at the museum has been fantastic: who knew how many passionate people work behind the scenes to create a learning experience for all? I spent my time surrounded by staff motivated and enthusiastic about attracting as many people to the museum as possible!
I couldn’t explain my whole experience in this blog even if I had all the time in the world because it’s been a whirlwind of events, tasks and conversations with the staff and the public. I can however give you a taster: I was lucky enough to experience a Spotlight talk about the new galleries on East Asia and ancient Egypt. These talks are free and on regularly for the public to attend, giving them an in-depth background to the exhibits. I thoroughly enjoyed the one I attended as I got to hear from experts passionate in their fields of study.
Another event I assisted with was a late night event at the museum called Robots Retro Film Night. This allowed me to revert to my primary-year-old self as my task was to create challenges using robots for adults to participate in at the event. The event allowed the public to come in and enjoy the new Robots exhibition with the added bonus of some robot experimentation, plus a movie screening. Events such as these are a perfect example of the fun and creative plans concocted in the Learning and Programmes department to entice members of the public to get involved.
The Careers Hive event was another I got to witness and experience. This event allowed students from across the capital to come in and experience science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers. It included countless interactive activities which were aimed at encouraging students to pursue these career options, although they also provided great entertainment for everyone involved.
During my time at the museum I met with Cairn, a student currently undertaking an undergraduate events assistant work placement, who quickly showed me that my whirlwind experience is common practice at the museum. Every placement student here is given the fantastic opportunity to meet, talk and be involved with as many events and staff members as possible. This opportunity has allowed me to develop my creative skills, learn about different career options and witness the bustling museum at its finest.
This whole experience at the museum has been incredible, I can’t stress highly enough how worthwhile it is to take part in. The opportunity encourages you to openly participate in as many projects and events as possible giving you a wide variety of experiences.