Archive for the ‘Post-16’ Category
Here at the Manchester Museum we absolutely love projects that get pupils involved in real life science that matters – they are, after all, the researchers of tomorrow.
So we were really pleased to get information on the ‘Crowdsourcing4Climate: Community Rainfalls Collections’ pilot project, which hopes to get the public and schools collecting rainfall data to add to the data we can use in all sorts of scientific research. It’s simple but could be a brilliant and effective school project and will support research at Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester Universities.
We’ve attached some information on how you can get involved and would love to see local schools contributing – so do take a look and let us know if you need any further information C4C_TeacherGuide-1.
We’ve been really lucky this year to be able to work with Tameside College‘s Photography students again this year, creating an exhibition that is inspired by the Museum’s collection.
On the 1st March the students were invited into the Museum, given tours of the galleries and collection stores and encouraged to document their visit with photographs. This then formed the basis of their brief:
“Students will be working with Manchester Museum to produce work for an exhibition, in response to the Museum’s collection. They will be utilizing the techniques in the darkroom and the studio to produce a body of work shot on film on either Large or Medium Format cameras, in the studio and printed in the darkroom”
They had until the 27th March to create three final images each, with at least one of each going into the exhibition.
On the 19th March I was asked to go into the College and ‘critique’ the work done so far; to identify the final images for the exhibition and encouraging the students to write labels to accompany their pieces. I was amazed by the thought and detail that had gone into every example of the work done by each student. They had taken elements from the collection and considered them from multiple angles, linking very complex concepts with inspiring ideas and creative input.
Some of the aspects the students were using in their work included using the Zoology specimens to examine the protective layer that animals have – including humans – and metaphorically demonstrating this through masks. There were numerous reflections on the Egyptology collection, scrutinising the means of communication – hieroglyphic script – and translating that into imagery associated with the way we communicate today – via clothing or graffiti, in addition to the mummification process and the preservation of memory and stories.
Some students were intrigued by the idea of what occurs behind the scenes at the Museum – the specimens we keep hidden in stores, and the means by which we classify the collection. This led to responses associated with the food chain, – linking in with the recent horse-meat scandal – dominance in the natural world and the issue of domestic violence (represented by bruised fruit), change over time – as evidenced by Darwin – and how we label not just things, but people.
The exhibition opened on Friday 29th March and has been in place for two weeks, with the closing date on Sunday 14th April. It looks fantastic in our Alhambra space between the Egyptian World gallery and Living Worlds, and there have even been interactive elements for our visitors to become part of the legacy of the project.
All in all, it’s been a fantastic exhibition and the students have done brilliantly as part of the project; they should all be very proud.
Just been to the Staff Forum where members of the Education Team talked about the brilliant work they do with schools and other groups. Some 29,000 schoolchildren visit the Museum every year and 80% of the classes have a taught session. The evaluation feedback is invariably 'good' and 'excellent' and the vast majority say they would visit the Museum again.
We’ve been busy with bookings at the start of this term and fortunately we had some help in the form of Rebecca Smith, who was working with us during the week of the 14th January to 18th January. We arranged for her to experience a selection of our offers that included Visitor Services, our Post 16 Learning Programme and our Volunteer Handling tables.
But, I’ll let Rebecca tell you about her time here in her own words:
I am a PGCE student training to be a secondary school teacher, teaching Leisure and Tourism. During my one year course I am required to complete a one week alternative placement setting. I chose to complete mine at Manchester Museum. I have worked in all different aspects of the tourism industry but I have very limited knowledge of visitor attractions and Museums in particular.
My reasoning behind choosing the Museum was to gain more knowledge and understanding of how the Museum operates as a tourist attraction; however I have come away after only one week with so much more!
I was welcomed as part of the team and I was given the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the museum from working with reception class on a Dinosaur Explorer session to working with the volunteers on the handling tables.
I particularly enjoyed planning and delivering the Travel and Tourism Master Class for a group of local college students. The Master Class was based on customer service. I was allowed the opportunity to walk around all the galleries and evaluate the provisions offered to different customer types. The students were then set a customer service critique task and gave presentations of their findings to myself, Cat Lumb and the Deputy Head of Visitor Services. The students really enjoyed their day and gave positive feedback. It was amazing to see the extent to which the educational team goes to ensure they give a positive experience to the school groups. All of the sessions are planned to challenge and stretch the students and allowing them the confidence to create their own response from the exhibitions. I had no idea how much work went on behind the scenes when putting together an educational visit.
I have gained a greater knowledge and appreciation for how the Museum operates and interacts with its visitors. One thing that has stood out during my time here is how all the staff members go above and beyond for their visitors. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they do everything they can to ensure the visitors go away happy.
All of the staff members are enthusiastic and passionate about their job roles and about the Museum itself. There is a positive atmosphere within the building and that was a pleasure to be around.
I have certainly achieved what I set out too and so much more. My love for teaching has been intensified as a result from my time at the Museum.
I look forward to returning to the Museum with my new students in the future!
Rebecca was fantastic at thinking on her feet and delivered an excellent tour for our Travel and Tourism students. Many comments were made by my colleagues on how approachable and friendly she was and therefore we would welcome her back anytime!
We wish her all the best with her future, and certainly would love to have her bring her future students to the Museum.
sad happy to report that our Secondary and Post-16 Science Co-ordinator, Alexa Jeanes, will be leaving us for exciting new adventures in the New Year. She started working at the Museum over five years ago when she was delivering on our Real World Science programme as a PhD demonstrator. Then, in June 2009, she became our Secondary and Post-16 co-ordinator and the rest is, as they say, history!
Since she’s been at the Museum she’s developed so many popular, fun and educational experiences that thousands of students across Manchester (and beyond) have participated in: from examining colour throughout the natural world in Nature’s Palette, to debating on stem cell research in The Hard Cell Study Day.
She’s been such a great work colleague and all of us at the Museum are sad that she is leaving the team because she contributes so much. We have no doubt that our Science contacts – teachers, academics and students alike – will also miss her and wish her well on her next adventure: which starts with a trip to Central and South America!
Here’s what Alexa had to say about her time here:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working at the Manchester Museum over the past 5 (!) years and have seen it develop and change in many ways. It has been such fun to translate my passion for science into workshops for students and show them how interesting and fun science can be. It is always special to work in an amazing environment such as this and with such incredible objects. The thrill of holding a fossil that is 300 milion years old or seeing a beautiful insect never changes. It has also been a pleasure working with enthusuiatic and knowlegable academics from the Univesity of Manchester and the Museum and bringing their fascinating research and collections to life. I will miss everyone I have worked with over the years, my colleagues, teachers and students and thank you for making my time at Manchester Museum so enjoyable!”
Our team of PhD students that work as postgraduate demonstrators delivering workshops are an important part of the Secondary and Post-16 Science programme at Manchester Museum. Their enthusaism and science communication skills really bring the sessions to life, as well as giving the students access to young scientists that can act as positive role models for the students visiting the museum. Rebecca Brading, a PhD students in Faculty of Life Sciences at University of Manchester joined our team in September 2011 and has written a blog post about her experience below:
When I first began my PhD, Alexa Jeanes from the Manchester Museum gave a talk about working as a demonstrator. At the time, I knew that I enjoyed working with secondary and post-16 students through my work as a STEM ambassador, and I was beginning to realise how much I liked talking about science. Working as a LifeLab demonstrator sounded perfect for me, and I was lucky enough to be invited to a group interview. However, this included giving a talk to the rest of the group about my PhD- something that I found very nerve-wracking at the time.
During the interview, a current demonstrator called Liz Granger gave a talk about working in the LifeLab, and she told how working there had completely changed how she felt about public speaking. Having worked as a demonstrator for a year now, I have to say that I completely agree- now my biggest problem with public speaking is remembering to stop talking at some point!
It is not just my confidence that has massively improved, it is also my ability to organise and plan sessions, think and adapt on my feet, and help students to learn without just giving them the answer. I have realised just how much I enjoy working with this age group- my experience has been of witty, creative and massively enthusiastic young people.
Something that I wasn’t expecting is how inspiring it can be running a LifeLab session. Seeing how eager and determined the students are, coupled with how interested they can be in my PhD research, really rejuvenates my enthusiasm for my own project (which is helpful when things don’t go so well).
Working at the Manchester Museum has opened a new world of opportunities for me within life sciences, and I now also work as a Widening Participation Fellow for the University of Manchester, as well as being involved in other study days and open days at the Manchester Museum. It can be difficult trying to juggle all these different roles with doing my PhD, but the rewards more than make up for the challenges. It has been a fantastic experience so far, and I am always looking forward to delivering my next workshop at Manchester Museum.
You can find out more about Becky’s PhD research at her blog: http://ddar.manchester.ac.uk/blog/
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.
With the opening of our new Ancient World Galleries the Museum’s Learning Team are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Teacher Preview event to introduce teacher’s to our brand new galleries and associated learning programmes across the Key Stages.
This event will take place on Wednesday 14th November between 4.30 and 6.30pm. There will be a short introduction by our Learning Manager, followed by optional tours of the gallery spaces with our Curators. In addition our entire team will be present, allowing teachers to ask questions, learn about our new sessions and even register their interest in booking workshops on offer.
Our temporary exhibition, Breed:The British and their Dogs, will also be open and our Resources and Secondary workshop for this gallery will also be on show.
To book your space on the Preview Event email our bookings co-ordinator on email@example.com or call 0161 3052630.
During the Summer Term Alexa and I were very pleased to offer some of our new workshops – one debating Humans and the Natural World and another on Alan Turing – to the Manchester Access Programme students.
For those not familiar with the Manchester Access Programme the aim of the scheme is to support entry to The University of Manchester, or another research intensive university, through the completion of a portfolio of work demonstrating specific knowledge and skills. During the workshop at the Museum students were developing their research skills and the ability to work with research materials such as objects.
We got some great feedback so here are just some of the things the students said after their visit:
“After having a look around museum today, I had questioned myself numerous times about the actual value of the natural world and humans. I.e. does selling land makes it automatically the posession of the person you sold it to? And if so… is everything for sale? Does putting a American flag on the moon by the americans makes it theirs? Although, it’s so unreachable and everyone takes advantage of it? Today, I have learnt that this issue is debatable, depending on peoples’ own personal beliefs. Just like chinese believing that making thousand of paper doves will bring good luck.”
“Today’s workshop had made me think about Human and Natural life in more depth and changed my mind about recycling as I had saw an impact it can cause when people don’t care about today’s environment”
“There was alot of information in the museum. Information on Alan turning centenary was good to read and expand knowledgeIt was also nice and attention grabbing of the stufffed animals like, the male indian swamp. information on trade, journeys was very interesting, telling us about manchester ship canal, silk industry, migration and chinese. This was something different therefore unfammiliar which made me more interested in reading this. Information on the actual museum like how long it’s been here for and victoria musuem was great to read, as it told us more about the actual museum.”
“I saw different parts of the museum including an area on the 2nd floor that was about the diversity of Manchester, including how people settled into the area and brought their own traditions with them. This was perhaps what i enjoyed learning about the most, because i have takien religious studies as an AS level, so learning about different cultures and religions was exciting and most enjoyable to learn about”
The students were so great to with – engaged, determined and smart – so we plan to offer some more MAP workshops for students in the Autumn term.
Cells, Senses and C.Elegans and GCSE Body Experience – collaboration with undergraduate students from FLS
Posted June 5, 2012on:
Back in March, we hosted two special days aimed at KS4 and A-Level students. We had been working closely with 3rd year undergraduate students from Faculty of Life Sciences from University of Manchester who had been developing activities to be delivered in the museum during these bespoke events.
The first one, on 9th March was entitled ‘GCSE Body Experience’ where 80 students from St Peters RC School, West Hill School, Rydal Penrhos School and St James RC School attended The students took part in workshops exploring different parts of the body, from eyes and ears to gut and immune system. Some comments from teachers that attended are below:
“Well researched, well presented in a logical progression. Challenged students and extended them. Students were engaged and on board” Teacher, Rydal Penrhos.
The A-Level event ‘Cells, Senses and C.Elegans’ was a couple of weeks later on 22nd March. 85 students came along from Holy Cross College, Cardinal Newman College and Sedburgh School. The workshops included topics such as HIV, embryonic development, C.elegans and oogenesis. Some teacher comments about the event are below:
“The students were fully engaged and could relate to a lot of the content as well as gain further insight into the subject” Teacher, Cardinal Newman College
“Excellent materials and presentation. A totally new topic which made my students think!” Teacher, Sedburgh School
James, one of the undergrads involved gives his thoughts below:
“My initial thought was that the museum would be an easier choice, until I realised I would have to interact with GCSE and A-Level pupils which I haven’t done since I was one of them! It became daunting very quickly but after working with the museum staff and developing a resource which I was confident in, my jitters subsided…slightly. Each group and especially each year group was very different and it required lots of on the spot thinking – something which became easier the more time I did the activities. From the responses I got, the students had a great time, not just at my session but at all the sessions. I learnt a lot about myself and about how to overcome obstacles, and ended up with sessions that I am proud of!” James Topham, 3rd Year undergraduate at The University of Manchester
Overall, it was a really successful event in which both the students delivering the activities and students attending both really enjoyed the events. We will be running these days again next year, so look out for them being advertised if you are interested in bringing your students to this unique day.
Some pictures of the events are in the gallery below: