Archive for the ‘Feedback’ Category
In the development of our sessions for babies in museums and galleries in Manchester, we were (quite rightly!) challenged by colleagues about the level of participation there would really be for babies. We were asked,
‘Aren’t the sessions really just for the benefit of parents?’
‘Can babies really enjoy museums?’
I posed the question ‘Can babies really enjoy museums?’ to parents attending a Baby Explorer session at Manchester Museum and added, ‘How do you know? ‘
The question did take our parents by surprise! They couldn’t understand why anybody would doubt that their babies were enjoying and participating in the sessions, which for them as parents, was clearly evident.
The many fabulous images we have taken and the short films we have produced, do capture the engagement levels of babies in our sessions, but like anything else, this is far more powerful (and evident) if you experience it directly.
One of our members of staff, who was initially sceptical about the opportunities for babies to truly participate in the sessions, attended one of our baby explorer session and commented afterwards,
‘I think babies can enjoy museums because it’s a totally different environment from other surroundings and they interact with different things than they would usually….they focus on what is being shown them and seem enraptured by what is going on including the storytelling and singing.’
Here is a selection of the feedback we had from parents ……
· It’s helped her to notice things more in other places too. These sessions really help to develop her concentration. I notice when she misses a session.
· Fabulous sensory learning aimed at the age group appropriately. My baby LOVES this. He is active, wide eyed, bouncy and afterwards he sleeps! Thank you.
· Development of motor skills by holding and touching objects. Babies’ eyes lit up concentrating for lengths of time. Staying quiet during singing (attention and listening).
· So many things to see and feel- nothing like home environment. I know how much he enjoys it because he cries when we leave!
Lets keep developing the practice and collecting the evidence of impact, to make the case for more babies in and museums and galleries nationally.
Elaine Bates, Early years coordinator, Manchester Museum
Here at the Manchester Museum we are always looking to develop and improve our practice and part of this includes asking students that visit what THEY think of any workshops they have participated in.
In November we had a two week hot-spot for evaluation where we asked for student feedback on any sessions that took place during that time. Within the Humanities and Arts programme we had a number of different workshops take place – ArteFACT, Patterns in Nature and our brand NEW session Empire Explained.
Here’s a snapshot of what particpating students had to say about their experiences at the Museum:
ArteFACT session – Trinity High School, Year 7 pupils
When they were asked which part of the session they enjoyed the most, their responses were:
“I enjoyed writing labels for each of the objects”
I enjoyed classifying the objects because it was fun”
I enjoyed seeing interesting things and working together as a team”
I enjoyed labelling the objects and creating a history for it!”
When they were asked what they would tell friends and family about their expeience at the Museum they said:
“How to organise a part of a museum and how to investigate what an object is by looking at it”
“I would tell my family that I enjoyed the trip and I got a chance to enhance my knowledge in History”
“I really enjoyed looking at the different items and artefacts about history. I will be telling loads fo people about this memorable experience at the Manchester Museum”
Patterns in Nature Session – Sidall Moor Sports College, Yr 10 students
For this art session in observation drawing students were asked what they would take away from the workshop. Here are some of their quick-fire responses:
“Don’t use lines as much”
“Use different pens, pencils and other things like that differently”
“Using different types of shade”
“You can use tone instead of line”
Empire Explained – Trial Sessions with Yr 7, Newall Green High School students and the Home Educators Network
Here are some things that the groups said they learned about Egyptian, Roman and British Empire:
They all had armies and military awards
The Empire increased trade opportunities
They had different titles for their ruler – Pharaoh, Emperor and King/Queen
They all became expensive to defend and relied upon different technologies to expand
Things they said they really liked about the workshop included:
- The use of I-pads
- Interaction with objects
- Lots of different activites
- Comparison of the empires
Overall we collected a huge range of evaluative material that allows us a glimpse into understanding what it is that students get from participating in a museum session as part of their education. We’ll be examining all of our material over the coming weeks and have planned in more hotspots weeks over the year so that we can ensure that all students attending our workshops get a quality, educational and fun visit.
Giving students access to the fascinating cutting edge research that happens at the University of Manchester is a key priority for the Secondary and Post-16 science programme at Manchester Museum. So when i was approcached by Elizabeth Pawson, a postdoctoral researcher in a research instutite called CADET (Centre for Advanced Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics) to help them develop an A-Level Study day about their research on diabetes i jumped at the chance. Below is a blog post written by Lizz about their experience and the study day which took place on 18th October:
14 members of CADET (ranging from PhD students to professors) took part in the first Discovering Diabetes Study Day on October 18th. The study day, which was developed and designed by researchers at CADET, in collaboration with Alexa at Manchester Museum, to specifically complement the A ‘Level syllabus and was attended by AS and A2 Level students from Cardinal Newman College in Preston and Salford City College. The study day enabled students to find out about diabetes, diabetic complications and how diabetes research is carried out whilst working closely with the range of scientists and clinicians who work at CADET.
After an opening talk which introduced the students to diabetes and to the role of CADET within the University, the students then participated in a “Dragons’ Den” style activity. In this the students worked in small groups and learned about different secondary complications of diabetes, how they are investigated at CADET and how scientific research is funded. They then had to pitch for future funding for research into the different complications, with the chance of winning £1 million. As shown by the evaluation at the end of the study day, the students very much enjoyed this activity and as such were very vocal during the pitching process! They were also very interested in learning about how academic research is conducted and felt that this session provided them with new insights into scientific research careers.
In a second activity the students were taught about the different technologies that CADET scientists use regularly as part of their research. The students had a work book of data and analysed results from a series of experiments with the aim of identifying biomarkers of importance in diabetes. They then had to decide which molecules could be potential future therapeutic agents and justify future research into their role in the disease.
Evaluations carried out at the end of the day showed that the over 90% of the students felt the day directly contributed to what they were learning in college and felt that had a better understanding of diabetes research. In addition they were keen to study science at degree level and found the interactions with the scientists a useful and invaluable experience. Moreover the staff who attended with the students recommended that the day is repeated again next year. The researchers at CADET thoroughly enjoyed themselves too, and are currently working on extending the study day so that more students can attend. Then next day is scheduled for March 2013 and will hopefully become a regular, biannual event.
Some comments from students who attended the day:
“ ..Really enjoyed the Dragons’ Den session as it was a good insight into the real scientific world”
“..New found knowledge was very interesting and relevant to my future interests and courses…”
“The workbooks will be very useful in future study”
“I not only learnt about the effects of diabetes but also about how funding is gained for research”
“I learnt a lot and would really like to do more events like this”
“Everyone is nice and helpful”
“It was fun, hopefully coming back soon”
“I really enjoyed working with scientists and asking them questions, that was the most important and interesting part”
Our engage with the experts A-Level Study days are always very popular and this one was no different. It was fully booked within a couple of days of the date being advertised on the website! We are delighted to annouce that we will be running it again on 21st March 2012, so if you would like to give your students the opportunity to take part and work with the scientists, please do get in touch.
On Thursday 24th May, a group of children, staff and parents from Wetherby street children’s centre, Openshaw, visited the museum for our early years animal Explorers session which was led by one of our freelance staff, Karl Harris .
The session began in the Nature Discovery gallery with the story ‘Polar bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear ?’ ( Bill Martin junior and Eric Carle) and the group were fabulous at making all the animal noises, including the more unusual animals like the peacock and hippo! Then, dressed as animal explorers, complete with hats and binoculars and armed with a bag of ‘clues’, the group looked for the animals in the story on the Living Worlds gallery, Bird gallery and Vivarium. At the end of the session , Adam from the Vivarium brought one of the lizards down to meet the group. One of the children asked if the lizard had a name and as it doesn’t, he invited them to name it. They have suggested Fillip, Tigger or Mango Ba Jango – so watch this space!
Comments from parents who supported the visit, said that the museum was interesting with a wonderful atmosphere. One parent said her daughter is still talking about the visit and making animal sounds. She particularly liked the use of props and being able to touch live animals helped to deal with fears/phobias .
The staff agreed that children thoroughly enjoyed the visit and the timing of the session and variety of activities were appropriate for the age of the children and held their interest.
The impact of the visit has been evident in the play and language the children are using back at the centre. When reading another story the children were able to identify the peacock from Polar bear, Polar Bear and they also remembered the letters and the animals being on holiday.
Most importantly they had lots of fun!
For further information about our early years programme, visit our website.
To make a booking, ring Jill Anderton, our bookings coordinator on 0161 275 2630
So you may have noticed that we have changed our look…Depending on how long you have been following the blog, you may realise that we have reverted to the previous style originally adopted for the page.
We got some feedback suggesting that this older format was easier to navigate and read, and so we’ve returned to it in order to give you the chance to review it and comment on if this really is the right style for us.
So, please, if you have a view on the format of the blog – let us know by commenting below. After all, this is as much YOUR blog as it is ours, and we would love to hear what you think!
One of the most popular outreach sessions we deliver is ancient Egypt and in the past academic year we have delivered over 20 sessions in schools across Greater Manchester and had the pleasure of working with some very insightful and imaginative children.
Thanks to all those schools which have sent us pupils’ feedback and comments! We have selected a couple to share with you.
We always enjoy seeing what further work the pupils have produced after our visit. Above are also images of some of the ancient Egyptian artefacts we bring into school and you can spot them in the pictures the children have drawn in the feedback shown.
We are always striving to develop our sessions to support teachers in delivering the curriculum and appreciate your comments.
In September 2010 we will be launching our ‘newly’ developed ancient Egypt session in response to your comments and suggestions and there will be more artefacts to see and explore.
Watch this space for more info…
However much you love your work, there are times when you need a boost and I received one last week from one of our younger visitors. It made my day so I decided to share it with you.
Dear Manchester Museum, I am 9 years old. I have visited the museum many times and I have found it interesting and I’ve learned lots from it. This is a poem I wrote which was inspired by the Egyptian exhibition.
Entering the dark, dim lit hall,
Running to the precious bodies in the clear, glass cases.
Looking at them, brown like shrivelled apples.
Walking, talking people is what they used to be.
Strolling on Egyptian sands, thinking, when they died they would live on.
Here they are.
It is raining and they are lying still in Manchester Museum.
Thank you for making your museum wonderful.
From Matilda Houston-Brown
Its always great when you get a good feedback form from a teacher, you know that the pupils enjoyed themselves and that you have in some way contributed towards their learning.
Its even nicer when you come across websites or blogs where people write about their visits. Below are a few I’ve stumbled upon the last few weeks, but if you do write a blog post or post something to your school website, please do let us know.
Here is a lovely post from Charlestown Primary School about their visit to study Egyptians. There are some super images of their trip and some of the objects they were able to handle, plus they link to some of the digitial information they have found about the topics they are working on in school.
Its not just primary schools who blog about us on their websites, here is a great post from Saint Paul’s catholic High School about their visit facilitated by Cat from the learning team.
Sometimes its not the pupils blogging, but one of the accompanying adults, like Lucy Harvey’s blog post about her recent trip the Museum with some Year 8′s to see Darwin. The section about the trip is towards the bottom of the blog post.
Finally, here is a bit of an older post (from 2007) from The Queen’s Lower School about their visit to do Dinosaurs and one last one from The Deans Primary visit to look at Egyptians.
I rarely receive any post at work, so last week, when I arrived to find a big brown envelope in my pigeonhole, I was slightly concerned. No need!
…Inside the envelope was a big pile of lovely hand-written letters from some of the year four pupils from Sharrow School who had travelled all the way from Sheffield to take part in our Dinosaur Detectives session on 29th April.
Two groups who visited were really bright and full of enthusiasm for the museum in general, and science in particular. The children all worked really hard and did a fantastic job of being palaeontologists. This was all helped by the wonderful teachers and adult helpers who threw themselves into the session; keeping the pupils on task and fully engaged.
I really just wanted to share my lovely post with you all, so here are the letters…
On 11th May, I ran a seminar for masters students on the ‘Art Galleries and Museum Studies’ course at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Museology. The seminar was part of the ‘Science, Nature, Museums’ course ran by Dr Sam Alberti, and focused on ‘Museums and Formal Science Learning’. In order to give the students a chance to find out more about what we do in the museum, and to experience how we make use of the galleries and objects for learning, I asked them to take part in one of the tasks that forms part of our ‘Bones and Skeletons’ session.
The group was given the following instructions:
“You have 10 minutes to start designing the skeleton of a superhero based on the skeletons on display in the Birds and Mammals galleries. You can mix and match any bits that you want, but you must make a note of the creature from which they came and the reasons (skills/superpowers) that you have chosen them”.
I also gave the students some background to session, explaining that during a session, this task follows on from a discussion about the functions of the human skeleton, and object-handling in which real bones from various animals are used to find out more about teeth and diet, the different uses of hands and feet, and the ways in which different skeletal features relate to different types of movement.
The students were fantastic and fully participated in the activity, creating some very imaginative (if not slightly scary) superhero skeletons. Even better, they let me keep hold of the pictures so that I could put them on the blog…