Guest blog by Luke Jarrett, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Animal Behaviour undergraduate student
Hello it’s Luke again I know it’s been a while since my last blog, but I have been on placement with the Learning Team here at Manchester Museum for the past nine months. I thought I would share some of my highlights and some of the things I have learnt whilst being here at Manchester Museum.
I will start off with one of the things I am most proud about that I have done since being here at the Museum, which is the fact that I created a self-guided resource from scratch for one of the Museum’s Enrichment days. The brief I was given was to create a self-guided resource for year 7 based on biomimicry in the Living Worlds gallery. The most fun and also the hardest part of making this activity was my idea of creating three riddles for the three animals which the pupils had to find on gallery. Within each riddle there was a clue to what the animal was and where you could find it within the Museum gallery. My favourite was the riddle “I spend my life swimming in the sea but it makes me very tired so now I just hang out in the gallery. What am I?” – can you guess which specimen on the Living Worlds gallery this relates to? After the Enrichment day the feedback I got from this activity was more than I could have hoped for from both students and teachers alike, it was all positive with some students and teachers saying it was their favourite activity from the whole Enrichment day.
Another thing I have been involved in during my nine months here at the Museum which I have loved has been the outreach visits to local schools. The main form of outreach I have experienced is the Inflatable Museum which is exactly what it sounds like. It is a big pop-up museum which we take to local schools that can’t make it to the Museum and run a session for the kids inside it. This also helped me develop my understanding and improved my use of the Museum’s main way of teaching which is enquiry based learning.
So over the last nine months I have learnt so much from using enquiry based learning effectively to that full dinosaur skeletons on display are normally casts of the bones and not the real thing (I know my mind was blown too). I feel like this placement has been fantastic for me as a person and my future, as I have learnt so much which I couldn’t have learnt if I hadn’t come on placement. Such as my presentation skills and working with not only the public but different age groups and being able to change my language dependent on my audience. This placement has got me thinking about going into something similar to this but within zoos as I see that as the perfect mix between this placement, the skills I have gained from it and my animal behaviour degree. So I would just like to thank Manchester Museum’s Learning Team for putting up with me stealing their computers and my supervisor Emily for having me on placement and for teaching me and helping me develop my skills.
Join us at Manchester Museum for lots of family friendly fun this half term.
October is an exciting month across the City with lots of family friendly events as part of Manchester Science Festival and the Family Arts Festival.
When the half term holidays arrive, the learning opportunities continue at Manchester Museum. October half term is the perfect opportunity to visit and delve into the many hands on, fun and awe inspiring activities that we have taking place.
All week long you can drop in between 11am-4pm and create a print inspired by the objects you can see in our new ‘Extinct or Survival?’ exhibition which opened on Friday 21st October.
Discover more about the Solar System, speak to experts and see objects from space, on Tuesday 25th October with students and colleagues from the University of Manchester at the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Solar System’ event.
On Thursday 27th October we will be joined by Stanley Grove’s Creative Crew who will be encouraging our family visitors to join in with their Big Draw project and create paper moths to share or keep and treasure.
Don’t miss our ‘Science Spectacular’ event on Saturday 29th October for a fun filled day of science challenges, live experiments, and interactive demonstrations and much, much more.
Me saying hello to Stan the T-Rex
Guest blog by Luke Jarrett, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Animal Behaviour undergraduate student
Hello, my name is Luke and I’ve just started my placement year with the Learning Team at the Museum. When I am not on my placement year I study Animal Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University, which believe me is more than watching cat videos. Having just finished my second year I thought it would be a great time to go on placement and get experience in the real world.
I have been really looking forward to starting this placement and now that I am here, I haven’t been disappointed. So I thought I would share with you my top 3 favourite things about the Museum from my first week of working here.
The fact that I’ve learnt a lot about ancient Egypt has been great. This is from being an extra pair of hands during the Egyptian Worlds primary school session, which was on the second day of term! I wish my school did field trips that early after school started. I was especially jealous of the children as I never got to study ancient Egypt at school, let alone go to a museum and have a private lesson on it! It was obivious from how much the children enjoyed it that I clearly missed out of something.
The Vivarium has to be my favourite place in the Museum so far, as it is home to the Museum’s live animals! I will say I spent too much time in there on my first day just looking at all the different animals. My personal favourite (at the moment) is the Golden poison dart frog, as they are so beautiful but also so dangerous.
My personal favourite the Golden poison dart frog
The sand lizard
Lastly my third favourite thing about the Museum is that I get to work in a place full of passionate people and I get to help to educate and inspire people who are younger then me to take up science and history and discover all the amazing things that both science and history have to offer.
That is all I can fit in to one blog post, but this won’t be the last you will hear from me as I am at the Museum for the next 9 months. So don’t worry you will get an update on how I am getting on throughout the year.
The baby sperm whale wishing me luck
Manchester Museum’s Junior Youth Board is an enthusiastic group of young people who volunteer at the Museum. They meet at the Museum once a month on a Saturday.
It is a great opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes, explore the many aspects of the Museum while meeting new people and having fun!
The Junior Youth Board is for those aged 8-13.
For more information on how to join Junior Youth Board please contact Victoria.Grant@manchester.ac.uk
Before the festive break, we were delighted to support a Games Development project called ‘Chimera’, undertaken by first year Level 3 BTEC students at Preston’s College. Their brief called for a creature to be designed for use in a video game. The creature needed to have some biological basis in reality to create the illusion of something both familiar and at the same time, completely unique.
To help their design process the students visited Manchester Museum and spent the day sketching, collecting reference photography and taking part in an artist-led session using Museum specimens.
After a lot of development work back at college, the students came back to the Museum and presented their final designs to Museum staff to gain feedback. It was fascinating hearing how the designs had been created and how the visit to the Museum had inspired the students.
“The project in conjunction with Manchester Museum was extremely valuable for our students. We were given access to the wide array of exhibitions on offer, had help from experts in their respective fields and we finalised our project by having our students present their work in front of a panel at the Museum. The experience has helped contextualise our students’ learning and we received constructive and supportive feedback from museum staff. The students enjoyed the challenge of the project and our staff were very grateful for such professionalism and enthusiasm from the museum staff.” – Graphics Tutor
Here are their design results:
Left to right: Jo Beggs (Manchester Museum), Daisy Wilson (year 8 winner), Miliani Fraser-Flectcher (year 7 winner), Jenny Clucas (NWBLT)
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 from across the North West Region have been battling it out to be crowned winners of the prestigious North West Schools Science Competition, run by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT).
The challenge was to submit an essay stating “Why I want to be a scientist” in less than 500 words, with the chance to win an iPad Mini and £250 for their school to spend on science equipment.
A 13-strong shortlist was drawn up by a panel of judges (including me to represent the Museum). The shortlist were then invited to compete in the ‘Competition Final’ held last night at the Museum.
The Winner in Year 8 was Daisy Wilson from Cheadle Hulme High School. She said “This evening has been a great opportunity. I am delighted to have won the iPad Mini and my school is going to be really pleased to receive the £250.” The Runner Up was Opeyemi Lamina from Withington Girls School.
The Winner in Year 7 was Miliani Fraser-Fletcher from Cheadle Hulme School who commented “I was very nervous but thought that everyone who presented tonight did really well.” The Runner Up in Year 7 was Lottie Burnett also from Cheadle Hulme School.
It was brilliant to hear the pupil’s passion and enthusiasm for science and the high level of entries gave us judges a difficult time when making the decision over the winners!
British Science Association – Science Journalism Competition
The Manchester Branch of the British Science Association are launching a competition for 6th form and college students across Greater Manchester to try their hand at science journalism and, they invite you and your students to participate.
Students will have the opportunity to Research a topic of their choice, interview an active researcher working in their chosen field and then create their own 500 word article explaining this work to a lay-audience. The winning entry will receive a £50 Amazon voucher.
To find out more and sign-up your Sixth-form/College visit,
Or alternatively, email BritSciAssoc@manchesterscience.co.uk for more information.
Deadline to register an interest – 31st January 2016.
Submission of entries – 22nd April 2016
Posted on behalf of the Manchester Branch, British Science Association
Have your pupils entered the NWBLT science competition yet? If not, why not set it for homework over the half term break. The closing date for entries is 6th November 2015 and the winner receives an iPad mini and cash for their school. To enter the competition pupils need to email firstname.lastname@example.org on “Why I want to be a Scientist” in no more than 500 words. Please make sure your pupils include their name, school name and whether they are in Year 7 or Year 8.
There is also plenty science for all the family to get involved with at Science Spectacular at Manchester Museum and Whitworth Hall on Saturday 31st October 11am – 4pm, as part of Manchester Science Festival.
This full-on family science day means a chance for all budding scientists to enjoy over 40 interactive experiments and demonstrations.
Create a mini tornado, snuggle up to some creepy crawlies, talk to scientists and crack secret DNA and computer codes, play the imitation brain game, explore science on a microchip, build a world of fungus and work with mini robots.
And remember to look out for our Science Buskers along Oxford Road.
We hope you have a fun half term!