From ancient Egypt to feeding ants: a week’s work experience

I have just finished a week of work experience at the National Museum of Scotland. I was based in the Learning and Programmes department and was mainly working with Sarah Cowie, Learning Officer (Schools).

I decided to come to the museum because I thought it would be a great opportunity and I would hopefully get an insight into lots of different things that go on behind the scenes. I can definitely confirm I have seen and been involved with many different things that go on in the museum and behind the scenes, from helping with some primary school workshops, to sitting in on meetings, to feeding the ants.


On Monday morning I went on a tour round the museum and learnt lots of things I didn’t know before. Members of the public can go on these free tours too. In the afternoon I went to see Kimberly in the Exhibitions and Design department. Kimberly graphic designs lots of the signs and displays that you see in the museum. She showed me some of her initial designs and final designs on paper and then we went to see them in person.

In the Animal World gallery at the National Museum of Scotland
In the Animal World gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.


On Tuesday morning two primary schools arrived with three classes each for an ancient Egypt event that was taking place in the auditorium that day. After the event, which was really interesting, the pupils went around the museum to visit the ancient Egypt gallery. In the afternoon I spoke to curator Sophie Goggins about the design for a new exhibition on parasites that she is overseeing. Later in the afternoon, I had a digital learning meeting, my first proper meeting.

Ruby standing in the Grand Gallery
In the Grand Gallery.


On Wednesday morning I caught up with some work on the laptop that I was doing for Sarah to do with the Body Beautiful exhibition. Then later on, after lunch, I helped out with a renewable energy workshop with primary 6-7 pupils. The children enjoy this workshop because for part of it they get to build a LEGO house (which I helped with). After I’d finished that I spoke to Katie Oldfield, Maths Week Scotland Co-ordinator, about what I was going to do at the National War Museum on Thursday.


On Thursday morning I did some more work on the laptop to do with the Body Beautiful exhibition. I then went to clean and feed the ants, which I was very excited about. Then after lunch we went to the National War Museum, in Edinburgh Castle, and I helped with a primary school workshop about the Second World War. I then went round the castle and took photos of shapes and angles for a worksheet for primary 5-7 that Katie is making.

Feeding the ants
Feeding the ants


On Friday I attended a Museum Social, which is an event for people with dementia. This week’s topic was microscopes, which was very interesting.

That was my week of work experience at the museum and I can definitely say it was one of the best things I have done because I have learnt so much and had so many great experiences.

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