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

space

  • 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

Commitment:

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

Kate.Glynn@manchester.ac.uk

Advertisements

Science-related residential summer school opportunity for AS students

Green_Vs_Polluted_CityInterested in how we can create a more sustainable future? Brilliant chance for AS level students to be part of our first ever residential Sustainability Summer School here at Manchester Museum. Bringing objects, technology and innovation together. Supported by the NWBLT, as part of our Lever Prize 2015 year. Find more info and how to apply here.

RCUK-funded opportunities for researchers at the University’s cultural institutions

ResearchSpeedDatePhoto

‘Research speed-dating’

We are excited to announce that we’ve just recruited a new cohort of PhD demonstrators to deliver education sessions for secondary and post-16 students.

The recruitment and training programme for our new demonstrators is a flagship project within the University’s larger Research Councils UK (RCUK)-funded School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI). This scheme aims to help University researchers to directly engage and inspire young people. Our flagship project couples researchers from across the University with the collections at our cultural institutions and libraries to bring current research to life in a powerful and unique manner.

Therefore, this time it’s not just the Museum’s science programme which will benefit, as we have taken this very successful way of working with PhD researchers and are embedding it at Whitworth Art Gallery, John Rylands Library and within Manchester Museum’s humanities programme. This means there will be some exciting new sessions to look out for in the spring term!

Objectphoto

Mystery object task

Each PhD demonstrator has been chosen specifically to use their current research knowledge and skills to enhance education sessions; meaning that school and college pupils will benefit from having their very own expert in the room.

To prepare the researchers for this new challenge we invited them to take part in a day long training programme. This included an introduction to cultural learning with a mystery object activity using specimens from the Museum’s collection. After lunch the demonstrators had a chance to explore the Museum’s galleries to identify ways of facilitating groups in unique out-of-the-classroom spaces.

GroupWorkPhoto

Rewording research summaries

We ended the day by doing a spot of ‘research speed-dating’ to give the researchers practice of communicating their complex current research. They had 90 seconds to explain their research to a partner using clear understandable language. After a little feedback, they moved on to a second ‘date’ with only 60 seconds to spare this time. Before perfecting their explanations in a lightning-fast 30 seconds final ‘date’.

Armed with a refined idea of how to explain their research the researchers revisited and reworded their own short tweet-style summaries of their specific area of research. Throughout the day these 140-character ‘research tweets’ were displayed as a physical twitter wall.

TwitterWallPhoto

Research summaries twitter wall

With new sessions in the pipeline we hope that you and your students have the chance to meet our new demonstrators very soon!

Below are our demonstrator’s tweet-style research summaries:

 

Twitter_logo_blue

Sam – Life for ordinary #Romans growing old.  What did they do?  How did they cope?  Also, with 2000 yrs between then and now, #howdoweknow?

Twitter_logo_blueKarlina – I am interested in the effect of climate change on fish physiology so I study the effect of temperature and oxygen on fish swimming

Twitter_logo_blueNaomi – My #research: What did artist #WilliamBlake say about #JesusChrist in his artworks; what influenced Blake & how new & unique were his ideas?

Twitter_logo_blueKonstantina – I’m looking at archaeological skeletons and analysing their DNA to discover if they are related

 Twitter_logo_blueEmma – Were changes in climate, sea level or temperature responsible for fossil jawless vertebrate evolution and demise? Or are fossilization filters warping what we see?

Twitter_logo_blueStephen – Farewell Fossil Fuels! Processes that limit biofuel production are now understood. We are closer to making biofuels from plants feasible.

Twitter_logo_blueEvgeny – Did you know that teeth can help to improve your vision? Now you know. #stemcells from teeth may be used to enhance regeneration of injured eye.

Twitter_logo_blueMary – How have words meaning ‘mad’ changed over time? Can linguistic metaphor demonstrate whether cognitive concepts for madness remain stable?

CTwitter_logo_blueelina – By observing structural colour in nature, my research aims to produce colour in textiles without using colourants

Twitter_logo_blueCatherine – Could mixing and matching of modern-day viruses unlock secrets of the distant past?

Twitter_logo_blueJennifer – To save and show old sunken wood in water… in a museum

Science Spectacular

Science SpectacularThis Saturday as part of the Manchester Science Festival, The University of Manchester is hosting ‘Science Spectacular’ here at Manchester Museum and in our ajoining building Whitworth Hall.

Come and join us on a whistle-stop tour of research at the University and take part in some great science challenges. Explore the insides of a nuclear reactor, go on a journey through the hidden body, take a closer look at the moon, and snuggle up to some unusual creepy crawlies.

You’ll get to meet the scientists and engineers behind the amazing research and the chance to take part in fun activities throughout the day including face painting, craft making and science busking. See if you can also spot the pop-up scientists who will talk about their science in 60 seconds or less!

With over 40 interactive exhibits and hands-on science activities it will be fun for all the family!

Science Spectacular | Saturday 2 November 2013 | Whitworth Hall & Manchester Museum | 11am-4pm | Free Entry

Poll results

Results of the poll that I posted last month are below. As you can see, they are rather inconclusive (interesting nonetheless!).

why take a class to visit a museum

Note: The following responses were entered as ‘other’:

  • Inspiring staff, chance to share experiences and stories, bringing subject matter to the real world/ life connections, gaining empathy, enquiry and new experiences, creativity, museums aim to be fun, welcoming and enjoyed by all
  • To show them that the museum can be for them, and have something to offer them.
  • A comment that I’ve had from teachers is about relative sizes of things. e.g. how a sparrow is smaller than a crow – not obvious from watching a film or even from observing live birds as they move about & are at a distance.
  • It’s a good way to build relationships with students in a different environment.
  • Bringing the past to life – cliché but true. A shop with items from 50p upwards. What they choose might make them think about a return family visit.
  • Artefacts visually bring to life the learning & can introduce/ demonstrate so much more than a terms worth of lessons (I’m specifically thinking of Ancient Egypt & the British Museum).
  • Knowledge that the teachers don’t have or can obtain easily.
  • I work in an area of high unemployment and the chances of our children visiting a real museum without us taking them are quite slim so sometimes we try to find one that compliments our learning.
  • I take students to the museum which reflect aspects of our specification at A level. – Dinosaurs/strat/local geology etc. Also primary children for the wow factor
  • Handling real objects. Learning in a way that cannot be achieved in the classroom.

However, and as the responses to the ‘What is your role?’ question illustrate, only 7 teachers participated in the poll.

What is your role

This is not surprising, particularly considering my rather unscientific approach and the limited period over which the poll was open! I do intend to recirculate this poll again (or some version thereof) but I would really appreciate any suggestions regarding the matter of targeting teachers.

Be a climate researcher – Citizen Science – Make a rain gauge!

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.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

How much rain falls in Manchester?

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.

Share and share alike

I’m very fortunate in that, a few months ago, I was accepted on to the Professional Development Programme (PDP) at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Museology. This opportunity (funded by Renaissance North West) has come at a good point in my career, giving me the opportunity to reflect on my and others’ practice and to look for ways in which I can develop my skills.

Image, from our Living Cultures gallery

Image, artefacts from our Living Cultures gallery

The PDP is structured so that I have a lot of control over how my learning plan is organised, leading up to a research project at the end.

One of my key aims has been to speak to a wide variety of colleagues in learning teams about how programmes are devised, how (where appropriate) object-centred learning is incorporated, how programmes are evaluated and how adult helpers are given a role in visits.

I decided not to restrict myself only to museums and galleries, so in the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to speak to colleagues at Trafford Ecology Park and the Royal Exchange theatre, both of whom gave me a lot of food for thought.

On top of that, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a few days in London recently.  I’m really grateful for the time that colleagues were generously able to give me at the Horniman Museum, the Serpentine Gallery and the Natural History Museum.

Image, the Horniman Museum logo Serpentine logo Natural History Museum logo

These were busy people who were happy to share time, ideas and spaces with me – and they really got my head spinning! In a good way, of course. While I still haven’t pinned down all my butterfly thoughts from my conversations, I have already begun to consider how some of the ideas I’ve heard might affect our learning programmes, advocacy and teacher resources.

It’s good to share – there’s no point us reinventing the wheel when someone’s already got there first!