Posts Tagged ‘The Manchester Museum’
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!”
On the eve of Wednesday 3rd October Manchester Museum opened it’s new temporary exhibition - Breed: The British and their Dogs.
Not only were there treats for humans on offer, along with canine-themed beverages but we had some very special guests too!
To celebrate the exhibition’s exploration of six breeds linked with British History – the Borzoi, Bulldog, Bloodhound, Pekingese, Collie and Irish Wolfhound – the Kennel Club arranged for their members to bring one of each breed to attend the opening so visitors could see them in all their splendor and understand just what it is about dogs that make them our ‘best friends’.
In addition, the individual to officially open the exhibition for the public was special guest Ruby – a miniature Schnauzer owned by Museum Director, Nick Merriman.
It was a fantastic opening event with the very dintinguishing difference that humans weren’t the only species to attend! The exhibition has been developed with The University of Manchester’s Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine and supported by the AHRC and will be at the Museum until 14th April 2013.
In the Learning Team we will be preparing some self-guided resources to accompany the exhibtion and we have a very special Secondary session called British: Born and Bred that investigates the concept of Britishness and how these dogs might represent particular periods of British History.
For more information on this Secondary workshop please contact Cat Lumb.
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.
On 10th, 12th and 13th July, the Manchester Museum hosted our annual ‘Matrix in the Museum’ events which are run in partnership with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research in the Faculty of Life Sciences. This year we had three schools visiting over the week; Stretford High School, Manchester Academy and All Hallows RC High School, all bringing year 8 classes to take part in the days’ activities.
The students were split into 5 teams for the day; Team Mucus, Team DNA, Team Cell, Team Cartilage and Team Matrix, all with a research scientist as their team leader. The day started by having a tour of the research laboratories in the Michael Smith building. The students get to see real scientists at work and find out about the work that they do. It was then over to the Manchester Museum to complete their team challenges!
Each team had a different challenge to do about their respective area of research i.e. team name, from making a model, to writing a song/poem or rap to preparing a presentation to show the rest of the class. The students worked brilliantly to complete these challenges, coming up with some fantastic ideas and creative ways to showcase what they have learnt. After lunch, during their final preparations, two ‘judges’ or Professor and research group leaders came round to talk to the students about what they had been doing over the course of the day.
It was then time to show off the work they had been doing. Each team presented their topic to the judges and the rest of the group and demonstrated their model and song/rap/poem. The judges then had to pick a winner – itwas often a very tough decision with all groups performing really well and showing how much they have leant from the day. A special mention has to go to Team DNA or Team Pro as they were known from Manchester Academy whose constant energy and enthusiasm throughout the whole day was just fantastic! It was a brilliant few days and I hope the students enjoyed as much as we did!
Thank you to all students, researchers and PI’s that took part which made it such a successful event.
All the way back in January and February of this year the Museum was working with eight Year 8 students from Matthew Moss High School in order to create a Midden – so that we could research the decay and survival of a number of everyday objects. We called it our ‘Experiment in Archaeology’ and installed the midden in our Allotment with plans to excavate just before the opening of the new Ancient Worlds Galleries in late October.
Well, our Year 8′s were welcomed back to the Museum last week and were treated to a tour of the University of Manchester’s Chemistry labratory so that they could use the equipment to test a variety of materials. But first they had to identify the differences between organic and inorganic materials and determine which of these categories each of their samples placed in the midden belonged to. They used the Museum’s collection as a resource for discussion and to help them place their samples.
After examining some of the Museum’s collection they then went across to the meet Kristy Turner, RSC School Teacher Fellow at the School of Chemistry. Here is what she did with the students:
The students used FTIR spectroscopy to look at the materials in the objects they brought with them. This method fires an infrared beam (a bit like that coming from your TV remote) onto the surface of the sample and measures how the beam changes when it is bounced off the sample and returned to the machine. It can show us information about chemical bonds in materials, especially materials made from mainly carbon, like plastics. The students will return in September or October to reanalyse the materials they have dug out from the midden and see if anything has changed. This will let them see if being in the midden has made any changes to the chemical structure of the materials.
Tracey Martin, who accompanied the students on their visit, sent us an email to say: “a BIG thank you! Our Year 8 boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves with you all yesterday“. Below are a few of the photographs of the boys working hard in Chemistry.
They also placed some more items in the midden, mostly organic materials, to see what effect a shorter time period might have on such samples. We can’t wait to welcome them back as Year 9′s in September or October to dig up their midden and retrieve what’s left (if anything) of their objects in preparation for the Ancient Worlds Galleries opening!
On Friday 15th June The Manchester Museum became a hive of activity when Burnage Media Arts College brought 90 (yes, you read that right: Ninety!) of their Key Stage Three students to take part in our Enrichment Day activities.
It was an intense, yet immensely fun day. The students were split into six groups of fifteen students, each with a tutor to supervise, and they took part in four out of six Enrichment Day activities on offer throughout the day. These consisted of:
Creative Thinking: Using our anthropology collection as inspiration students created their own masks to celebrate the Jubilee and Olymipics
The Money Game: Students put their skills to the test in this fast-paced competition in our Money Gallery. First team to complete as many challanges correctly had the honour of being named ‘champion’!
Mystery Animals: Using the Living Worlds gallery students used their own investigative skills in order to identify a mystery animal in our collection.
Dinosaur Footprints: How long a stride does Stan, our T-Rex, have? Students answered this question, and more, by examining different dinosaur footprints and concluding if they were walking, trotting or running. They were also able to predict scenarios suggesting how the footprints were made all those millions of years ago.
Finding Frogs: With our fantastic live animal collection students were encouraged to find out more about frogs and their unique adaptations, in addition to discussing issues around habitat loss. Then, if they were lucky, they got to meet one of our residents!
Here at the Museum we really enjoyed it – it was great to see so many students taking part in various activites and engaging with so much of our collection all in one day. To close, I’ll let you read what two of the teachers concluded about the day:
Museum staff were amazing: really flexible and enthusiastic – could not do enough for us as staff and the boys. Thank you!
Educational: students taught about different ideas. Very enjoyable!
The Manchester Museum’s redeveloped ‘Museum Comes To You’ schools outreach offer is coming soon!
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:
Most of my time this month has been spent on reviewing our Secondary workshops in order to make the most of our upcoming Ancient Worlds development and the fantastic opportunities for Key Stage Three and Four students to engage with the collection here. Topics to explore include Archaeology, Empire and Identity with the chance to develop student’s interpretation and enquiry skills as well as utilising critical thinking whilst investigating objects as direct evidence of the past.
The new galleries are going to give visitors a great overview of Archaeology and the contributions that our diverse collection of objects can make to our understanding of the past, in addition to analysing the different techniques used to explore this past. We’ve also got a spotlight on ancient Egypt as an Empire with a focus on examining the daily lives of specific individuals such as pyramid builders and will even include Asru, our temple priestess. There will be a very different approach to interpreting Egypt presented in this gallery, with the museum exploring how the ancient Egyptians themselves viewed their country and also how Egypt is an African civilisation influenced by surrounding cultures. The final gallery, upstairs, will be possibly the most visually stunning and potentially the most likely to adapt over the coming years: visible storage areas will be created, current research will be presented and themes will be explored in addition to object biographies to make sense of various parts of the collection.
To follow the progress, or find out more, check out the Ancient Worlds blog for more details.
Right now, having worked through some of the workshops and identified the potential links for the Secondary sessions, I’m really excited about the possibilities and opportunities the Ancient Worlds galleries will present for students and their teachers. The galleries will, in conjuction with the other permenant exhibitions here at the Museum, engage students with their curriculum subjects and hopefully provide them with a memorable experience to help them learn about the past, the present and even influence their own future.