The Study – volunteer call out!


Great Volunteer opportunity in The Study, Manchester Museum. Opens September 2015 – got a passion for something interesting – come share it with us!

Originally posted on thestudymcr:

In September 2015, Manchester Museum launches an exciting new space The Study – for the curious, the makers, the searchers and the sharers. The Study aims to inspire researchers of all ages, from curious teenagers to amateur enthusiasts. We are looking for people with a passion – it can be anything (within reason) from geology or botany to comics or knitting – to volunteer in this beautiful new thinking space.

Through this unique volunteer opportunity we invite you to research and share your passion, while empowering our visitors to be curious and take their own interests further using real Museums objects and bespoke activities and resources.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested and want to find out more. Please contact Kate Glynn by 17.8.15


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Placement Highlight: Georgia Sivri at Manchester Museum

Georgia with Maharajah

Georgia with Maharajah

In June we were delighted to welcome Georgia Sivri on a placement in our Learning team. Here’s her background and an overview of what she learned while she was here and the contributions she made to our programme.

I am currently completing my MA in Museum and Gallery Practice  in UCL Qatar. As part of my studies, in order to gain an insight into the developing and practical experience in the museum sector, I had to accomplish a one-moth placement in a cultural heritage institution, gallery or a museum.

Delightfully I received the news that for this task I was accepted in the Manchester Museum. I arrived in Manchester at the beginning of May and I spent the whole month working with Learning and Engagement Department. My mentor was Cat Lumb, Secondary and Post-16 Coordinator for Humanities. I received the warmest welcome and hospitality for the whole month. Cat with her knowledge, support, professionalism and guidance became an excellent example to adopt for my future professional career in the cultural heritage. Since my dissertation had the Manchester Museum as case study, from my personal research I had an idea about its historical importance, its significant and stunning collection and the pioneering learning practices they employ to empower public engagement.  However I was happily surprised that my already high expectations were only a part of the real value of this institution.

Droylsden Academy

On a session with Droylsden Academy as part of our Art of Identity Project

The Manchester Museum aims for dialogic engagement and audience participation, creating two-way communication to support a constructive learning experience. This is its primary learning principle. The learning practices that are used are personalized, enabling learners to make sense of the collection in the context of their own lives, providing the freedom to explore and make choices. Their educational workshops and activities are collaborative, letting the participants share a social experience. Furthermore, to support learning, they offer multisensory experiences involving history, philosophy, science and imagination transforming the learning process into a playful and meaningful experience for the visitors. To maximize inclusion, the Museum provides special adapted programmes for disabled people and autistic children. Overall, one notices that the Manchester Museum, by carrying out a variety of activities and workshops inspired by different learning practices, manages to be a museum accessible to everyone whatever their age, interests and diversity.

My tasks were to observe, learn and participate in extending the educational programmes that were already running to engage the public with the Museum’s collections. All the learning coordinators and facilitators warmly shared their knowledge and experience with me and I would love to thank each and everyone for their patience and generosity.

With Jack and our Outreach  Designer

With Jack and our Outreach Designer

Moreover, I had to research and assist in the design of a future outreach educational programme scenario for students from 7 to 11 years old on “Ancient Egypt”. The main goal of the project was to engage students with the museum’s collection of Egyptian artifacts by using theatrical practices and Applied Drama techniques, which were outside of the museum’s usual practices. The project will be used by schools at the beginning of September and will run on an annual basis.

I also developed timelines of the careers and lives of Margaret Murray, Jesse Howorth and Sir William Flinders, who are important historical personalities involved in the history of the Manchester Museum and Egyptology. Furthermore, I have made a comparative research for educators on the English and Scottish curriculum and developed a fact file for curators and educators to accompany the “Animal Mummies: Gifts for the Gods” forthcoming temporary exhibition. I designed a self-guided resource linked with Archaeology in relation to organic and inorganic chemistry for KS3  students following the Science curriculum. Lastly, I had the chance to reform a variety of museum’s online learning resources using WordPress.

Georgia and one of our outreach boxes

Georgia and one of our outreach boxes

My placement was a valuable opportunity to put the theory gained from the Master’s in Museum and Gallery Practice into practice. It was an experience that gave me the opportunity to be introduced to the structure and way of working of a cultural institution, such as the Museum. Moreover, a deeper understanding of the different roles and responsibilities of museum professionals helped me to orient my future career given my interests and qualifications. It was a great opportunity to develop a network with cultural heritage professionals, artists and scientists. The placement serves, as a soft passage from academia to the real professional world given the fact that it is carried out after all coursework is complete. I feel emotionally and practically prepared to confidently begin a career in the cultural field after exposure to a real working environment and having to develop human relationships.

Working along with museum professionals gave me the chance to experience teamwork and an example to develop a professional attitude. I expand knowledge, skills and interests and learned new subjects while developing my tasks. It was also a great chance to confront my weak points and try to correct them following the advice and guidance of my personal mentor in advance in order to be more efficient in their professional career in the future.

Notably, the placement allowed me to act as a helping hand and as a bridge between Qatar and Manchester. I was able to link knowledge gained during the MA in Ucl Qatar to activities in Manchester and act as a representative of Qatar whilst explaining and introducing colleagues to the nature of Qatar’s cultural heritage. Hopefully this placement laid the groundwork for potential future cooperation between cultural and education institutions across countries.

Georgia and some of our ancient Egypt outreach objects

Georgia and some of our ancient Egypt outreach objects

We’d like to thank Georgia for all her fantastic work during her time here: we really loved having you as part of the team! We wish her all the best in the future and are sure she’ll be a valuable addition to any cultural venue.

Primary school choirs sing their hearts out on our Living Worlds Gallery!

What an amazing achievement! The network choir group have just performed on our Living Worlds Gallery and they were super impressive! The group consists of children from Birchfields, Oswald Road, Crab Lane, Barlow Hall and Claremont primary schools. They have already performed at People’s History Museum this morning and are next off to the Whitworth Art gallery for their grand finale!

A lovely collection of songs about friendship sang with huge hearts and some clever dramatic poses!

We can’t wait to welcome you back here next time. A huge well done to everyone for all the hard work and dedication in making these performances so strong and beautiful.

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Egyptian Worlds: the new ‘Pacy Pyramid Challenge’ league table!

It is 2015 and although some are bemoaning the end of the Christmas period, the beginning of the new spring term is a source of great excitement and anticipation here at the Manchester Museum – Primary schools are coming back to visit us!

And what better way to start the new year than to take a look at last term’s Pacy Pyramid Challenge times on our brand new league table?

The learning team didn’t think it was possible for schools to beat the benchmark set in the last academic year – but last term’s schools exceeded all expectations and all staff at the Manchester Museum have been suitably impressed with the standard of the submitted times. Every class who took part should give themselves a big pat on the back!

The fight for the top spot of the league table has been intense to say the least; the previous record time was broken – TWICE! Remember, the class that has the quickest time at the end of the year will receive a very special prize from the museum – could it be your class?

Here is the leaderboard of the quickest 20 classes so far this year along with their time:

To see the full list of times please visit: .

After a whirlwind first term of Egyptian Worlds workshops, I cannot wait to welcome the new visiting classes and see them tackle the Pacy Pyramid Challenge!

More information on our ‘Egyptian Worlds’ workshop can be found at,

and if you are interested in booking a session please make a booking enquiry at .

Opportunity for Educational Resource Developer at Manchester Museum

Ibis_MM_detailWould you like to help shape a set of digital resources to support Manchester Museum’s upcoming temporary exhibition ‘Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed‘ about the importance of animal mummies in ancient Egypt and the innovative scientific techniques being used to investigate their remains.

We are looking for individuals with educational resource development skills to lead in the creation of a resource park for families and Primary school pupils that will accompany the exhibition across the three venues it will be displayed: Manchester Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and World Museum Liverpool. Applicants can submit expressions of interest for just the content development, or for content and design of the digital resource.

The full brief can be viewed here, and expressions of interest must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday 24th June.

For further information on the research the exhibition is linked with visit the Ancient Egyptian Animal Bio Bank blog.



Here is a guest blog post from the Museum’s enthusiastic Youth Board, a group of young people who volunteer at the Museum. Today they kindly got involved with a citizen science project called ‘The Microverse’ that we are taking part in organised by the Natural History Museum.

Originally posted on Manchester Museum Youth Board:

Today we had an extra youth board meeting as it’s half term! We were taking part in the Natural History Museum’s ‘Microverse’ Project – a project which involves various groups swabbing a building and sending them off for the cultures to be analysed. The youth board of course chose the museum and we surveyed three areas – the glass by the front doors, the cafe entrance pillars and the metal archway gate.
As well as being loads of fun, the project will hopefully help contribute to some really interesting research about what is able to survive in the harsh conditions that are building exteriors. The results are set to be published and hopefully the youth board will be acknowledged for our contribution.

Laura labelling the swabs to be sent off for analysis


A collection of polaroids we took during the project


Emma taking a sample from the entrance door glass

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The Study_logo_Black(1)

Student Consultant Opportunity – the Study, Manchester Museum

The Study_logo_Black(1)

Student Consultants

Manchester Museum Volunteer Opportunity

At Manchester Museum, we are creating an exciting new space ‘The Study’ which aims to inspire researchers of all ages, from curious teenagers to amateur enthusiasts. We are looking for University student volunteers to collaborate with staff on the development of a new volunteer role to support this space, help shape our student launch event in September and advise us as we finalise our plans for the gallery and recruit a core team of student volunteers who will inspire visitors in this unique learning environment.

Overview of role:

  • Advise staff on subject matter, content and marketing/branding for ‘The Study’
  • Collaborate with Museum staff on the development of new volunteer role
  • Help shape and plan our student launch event in September
  • Draw on knowledge, interests and skills to offer staff an insight into student life which will

inform the way we engage with students

  • Assist with the promotion of opportunities and events to fellow students

Opportunities as a volunteer:

  • Be involved in a unique opportunity to play a critical role in shaping a permanent Museum


  • Collaborate with staff from across the Museum’s departments
  • Gain insight into learning, exhibitions and programming in museums
  • Meet new people and develop a range of skills including communication and team work
  • To become part of the highly valued Museum Volunteer team with opportunities to attend

further training and development, and to attend social events and private views

What we would like you to bring to ‘The Study’:

  • A passion for learning and desire to share knowledge with others
  • Independent and quirky approach to work
  • New perspective and fresh ideas
  • Strong links to the student community
  • Students from all Universities and subjects areas are welcome
  • 6 months commitment

Reports to:

Volunteer Coordinator & Student Engagement Coordinator


We would like volunteers to commit to 2 hours every fortnight over the summer period, with the opportunity for a regular volunteer session in ‘The Study’ from September onwards

Please contact Kate Glynn by 7.6.15 to register your interest

‘Top Secret’ case begins its transformation…

Over the past few months we have been lucky enough to have several visits from a wonderful group of cultural ambassadors from Medlock Primary School. The children range from Year 1-6 and have been curating one of the museum’s more hidden cases in the school and family picnic area in the basement.

The children studied the style of display cases around the museum, thinking about colour, structure, object positioning as well as themes that are illustrated within the displays.

The fantastic group then selected 10 objects that they were most intrigued by and went about developing themes and making big decisions about how the case would actually look; from the colour of paint used to the way objects were to be positioned.

Here’s a little look behind the scenes of what’s been happening so far. Watch this space as the case enters the final stages of installation…

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Well done to all the cultural ambassadors at Medlock Primary School and keep up the good work! We can’t wait to see the next stages of all your hard work!

Future Young Paleontologists get hands on with our Dinosaur Fossils…

On Monday 11th May 8 wonderful children and their teacher Laura Simpson from St John’s Primary School in Leigh came to visit and get hands on with some of our oldest artefacts.

The fabulous group, some of whom had never been to the museum before, were very excited and had a particular interest in all things dinosaur!!! This dedicated young group of explorers had even managed to track down a dinosaur in their school grounds and had written to me to tell me all about it. I just had to meet them!

The group knew so much about fossils and what skills you need to be a good paleontologist that I could definitely see some future scientists in the making in this group.

Here’s what the group got up to on their day being Dinosaur Detectives.

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We hope to see you all again soon at the Manchester Museum and keep up all the really good paleontological work.

Debbie Doran.

Medlock Primary School begin to curate a case in the school and public lunch area.

Over the past few months Medlock Primary School have been working with a member of the  Museum’s Learning Team, Curatorial Team and the Museum’s Workshop team to help redesign a forgotten display case situated in the school and public lunch area.

The fabulous group of children from Medlock Primary have been investigating a selection of objects and have come up with a list of 8 objects they would most like to see displayed in the case. The group are really inspiring, creative thinkers as they then set about linking storybook themes to the case design.

Here’s a taster of what the case looked like before the group got their creative hands on it and a little taster of what’s in store for the case over the next few weeks.

The empty case awaits its revamp!

The empty case awaits its revamp!

Habitat hints for the specimens that may go into the case... Examples of  the labels selected to match the design ideas...

Habitat hints for the specimens that may go into the case…
Examples of the labels selected to match the design ideas…

One little ladybird has made it's way into the case! What else will follow?

One little ladybird has made it’s way into the case! What else will follow?

Watch this space for future instalments and eventually the grand opening of this very special case.

Well done to Medlock’s Cultural Ambassadors for all your hard work so far!

Debbie Doran, Primary Learning Coordinator.