Austin Children's Museum
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Spring 2013 Camp Coordinator Intern
Student: Linguistics/Anthropology Senior
I approached the doors to Austin Children's Museum on Monday at noon. They were locked, so I proceeded to key in the numeric code to let myself in. I walked up the stairs to the office like I had done for the past four months, and made my way to "intern row," a series of desks where all the interns work. I passed our Marketing Intern, and chatted about the progress of our collaborative assignment to promote the newest summer camps. After we finished I checked in with my supervisor about the status of the marketing assignment and camps. We finished quickly, so I returned to my desk, logged onto my computer and carried on with the work I had started the Friday prior.
On Friday I had been putting the finishing touches on all of the half-day camp curricula and organizing them into binders. I checked the schedules that I had created and made sure that the contents of the "activity sheets" documents reflected the schedules. The half day curriculum for the two new camps which I created were ready for review and revision by my supervisor, so I continued from there to work on the new full day camps. I realized over the weekend that some of the material needed to be changed because it was far too similar to established camps. I spent the next half hour researching new and interesting ideals to implement.
Shortly after the Public Programs Intern arrived to work and we began discussing the "Going Batty" sleepover activities for the weekend. I spent the rest of the day repairing camp materials with a glue gun as I talked to Megan about the upcoming supplies shopping trip, the status of our inventory, and appropriate sleepover activities. Another intern was testing a new activity and asked me to try it out. We had worked together so much over the past semester that it became quite normal to review each other's work. My supervisor had left earlier in the day so I ran new ideas by the Technology Education Coordinator before I checked out for the day at five in the afternoon.
Fall 2011 Site Review
Student: English Senior
Position: Blog Intern
I had one semester left to go and I still had not had any internship experience. I was stressing about this with my roommate and talked with her about how she had interned at the Austin Children’s Museum. I looked up the internships they offered and the Blog intern position sounded perfect for me. She put in a good word with them and I had an interview the next week. It was a very casual interview and you can see that they are a relaxed atmosphere with children’s crafts and toys adorning everyone’s workstation. My supervisor Emily sat down with me the first day and took two hours teaching me how to use WordPress for publishing, and other various things such as the copier and how to convert files for the internet, upload videos and so on.
So typically I would arrive in the office at 9 am and begin my day by talking with Emily about any upcoming events or anything I should write a blog post about. But, most of the time my first task in the morning was coming up with topics for children. I would spend about an hour searching the internet for any cool ideas, crafts or experiments kids would love. Once I found something, I would usually modify it to be connected to the museum in some way. Since I am artistically inclined I had a lot of posts about crafts. I would use a camera to take photos while I made a craft and then use Adobe Photoshop to edit them. Other times I would hand draw coloring activities for kids, scan them into the computer and create a downloadable PDF that parents and kids could find as a link on that particular blog post.
Towards the end of the day, when I was done creating and brainstorming, I would up the post. I had to be sure not to write in a way that pandered to children, but also not so formal that kids would be excluded. Emily would check what I had created and schedule the posts to be published in what order she saw fit, and now you can access all of my content on the blog link on their website. The best part is not only the office experience in such a creative setting, but being able to walk away with a tangible portfolio of my writing and art on the internet.