Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What I Did For My Summer Vacation

By: Jenna Peterson, School and Farm Programs Intern
Friday, August 12th was my last day as an intern for The Farmers’ Museum. Working as the School and Farm Programs Intern this summer was a great chance to really test out my interest in museum education. It also gave me the chance to put into practice all of the theory and ideas I learned in my museum studies graduate program.

I had some amazing opportunities; at the beginning of the summer, I dove right into planning the week-long experience for 5-7 year olds, Down on the Farm. I now know a lot more about what it takes to run a summer camp type program, and just how much communication needs to happen between the different departments to make sure such a program goes off without a hitch.
The geese following our wagon ride during Down on the Farm
For my next big project, I got to write background and structure for several of the Lippitt Farm Walk and Talk lessons. Now the farmer staff can give extra lessons on corn, poultry, and some of the odd crops we grow like tobacco and mangel-wurzels.

The last major project I tackled this summer was rewriting one of our popular school tours, Ox-Cart Man, to align with the new Common Core Standards that New York adopted. These standards are more focused on skills rather than facts, and the new lesson will help teachers and students make the most out of their visit. Although I am fairly certain I can now recite the curriculum in my sleep, I am very pleased with the finished product. I am glad I’ll be around this fall to see the Museum Teachers take it for a test drive.
One last visit to the Children's Barnyard
This summer has been an amazing experience, both for the work I got to do as well as for the camaraderie. If you haven’t yet met the museum’s staff, you should make a point to do so. They are all amazing people, and those that I got the chance to work alongside helped make this summer very special. I want to make sure to thank Mary Kuhn, who tolerated me stealing her desk and computer on a near daily basis throughout the summer. I also had the chance to work next to the amazing Public Programs Intern, Meredith, and I wish her all the best as she travels to Russia this semester.

Finally, I want to thank Keelin Purcell, the Manager of School and Farm Programs. She had only been employed by the museum for a few short weeks when she had an intern dropped into her lap. I have had internships in the past where I spent the whole time answering phones and making copies, but Keelin made sure I had a rewarding experience throughout the summer.

If you are interested in interning with either the Farmers’ Museum or at the Fenimore Art Museum, make sure to check their websites for upcoming information on potential internships. 

1 comment:

JJ said...

Thank you Ms. Peterson for your hard work and making the Farmers Museum a warm and friendly place to visit.

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