From the journal of Sarah during the weeks of June 2-13, 2014
I work as an Education Intern at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. The museum works to educate the public on the many different aspects of World War II by providing people access to oral histories, special exhibits, and interactive activities. As an Education Intern I will help run Science Camp. Science Camp is offered to 9-12 year old boys and girls who are interested in aeronautics, engineering, physics, biology, and medicine. I will help the campers complete their projects and watch them experience hands-on activities relating to science and engineering in World War II. After camp ends, I will evaluate the camp and the activities accomplished, I will turn activities into family workshops and classroom activities and assist with other department events, duties, and initiatives.
I found my internship with the National World War II Museum by attending Tulane’s Internship Fair in the spring of 2014. I attended the fair and met many different representatives from many different internship sites. Actually, the last table I visited at the fair was the museum’s table. I almost turned away and left for the day, but something about interning at the museum made me stop. I must have looked like a crazy person to the lady sitting behind the table. I had water bottles and lunch boxes and other goodies from walking around the tables. My folder with my resumes inside wasn’t as neat as it was when I first walked in the door what with me opening and adding business cards so many times that day. This didn’t stop me from walking to the table and asking bluntly what I needed to do to intern at the museum. I took the paper home and applied that night. I was called in for an interview and accepted the internship offer then and there. My summer plans were made.
My first week at the Museum was hectic. The week of orientation was fun because I met my fellow interns and worked to complete the camp schedule. I helped make a robotic arm out of wood and super glue. We finally got it to work, only to have campers break it during the first week of camp. That was definitely a low point, but I’m glad someone used the arm that was such a pain to build. After orientation week was the first week of camp. It was middle school all over again. I had to learn twenty new names and remember twenty new faces, all boys. My first week was spent corralling 20 nine to twelve year old boys around a museum where the attitude is usually somber and quiet. I had a great time my first week, but am definitely looking forward to seeing more girls in camp.
The first week was not easy. It took a few days to get used to the commotion of camp and the shuffling of activities. It also took a while to get used to the schedule and master the technique of the different activities. I continue to be impressed by what these campers can do! I really do not think that I would have been able to complete some of these tasks back when I was learning about science and technology. The campers’ science skills and knowledge about World War II amazed me this week and will surely amaze me next week when I meet twenty new faces and learn twenty new names.
I expect to learn more about World War II and its impact on Louisiana and the world this summer. I expect to put my time tutoring in various classrooms to the test and see what I really learned about furthering learning and growth in the classroom. I know that camp is supposed to be fun and engaging and not like school, but many of our activities take place in the classroom and require intense supervision because they involve scissors or wires or chemicals. I expect to gain more understanding of different areas of museum life and what it takes to keep a museum running. I also expect to have a great time and enjoy the tasks that the campers enjoy!