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Y10 Work Experience Week

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Work Experience 2017

There are two of us on work experience this week at Kelham Island Museum, Olivia and Ellie. We are year 10 students at Meadowhead School in Sheffield. Each day we have been writing a blog explaining the activities we have been doing each day. We hope you enjoy!

Day One

We are two students on work experience for five days this week. Today is the first day. Firstly, we walked around the whole site learning where all the fire exits and the fire assembly point are. Then we completed a welcome quiz about the history of Kelham Island, steel and Sheffield’s role in industry. We then watched the River Don engine running which we thought was very interesting as it’s the oldest working steam engine in the world.

Then we talked to some of the staff about their role in the business for example, marketing in events and community participation. This was interesting as we could see how much goes into these big events. Overall, our first day has been really fun and we are beginning to see how a museum works behind the scenes.

Day Two

In the morning we helped with the Kelham Creators Toddler Group. They gather in The Melting Room Play Area once a month. We sang a welcoming song with the kids before doing an activity based on the theme of the session; this week’s theme was transport.

After the activity, some of the kids and their parents went on a tour around the museum and did a quiz about the Transport Gallery. Once everyone was together again the kids had snacks and drinks and had a bit of a break before playing again and doing crafts. We helped set up and cleaned up afterwards which was tiring but it was all worth it when seeing and playing with the children.

In the afternoon we helped out with a primary school WW2 school trip.  We went around with some of the groups whilst they did different war related activities. They then had a quiz, story and song. Unfortunately, the interactors got us to join in with the song at the front in fancy dress with the rest of the primary teachers. It was embarrassing, but the kids really enjoyed it and that’s what matters most!

Day Three

Today we started by looking at how museums go through the process of being able to take in donations from the public and local businesses. We looked at the criteria that an object needs to follow to be able to be accepted into this specific museum.

We then got shown the storage rooms where the majority of the collection is kept, this was interesting because you initially think that most of the available collection is on display permanently but a lot of it doesn’t go with the theme of the current exhibition. We also then saw the cataloguing system to be able to find items then tried to do some cataloguing of our own.

Then we had another tour around the engineering side and we saw some of the larger pieces that are in storage or in the process of being restored ready to be put on display. We went into all the workshops and saw big projects that are being pieced together and built.

Then we went into the history of the building and what it used to be used as and we went into the cellar to see where the generated electricity wires had gone to power the original Sheffield trams.

Day Four

Today we met up with Vanessa who is in charge of the commercial side of the museum. She told us how the museum had progressed in terms of making money for themselves. She talked to us about the weddings at Kelham and how they are a new thing to the island but they are becoming a regular occurrence. She also talked to us about corporate events and some other events that they hold which are a bit more unique and fun. It was really interesting to see the other side of how the museum makes money and learn about all the fun and creative ways they do it. We then made a poster about our own wedding package.

After we went down to visitor services and helped Sharon and Anna with their job. They showed us how to use the till which was much more complex than we had first thought and how to serve customers. It was really surprising to hear how much they do. They have to stock the shop, clean the museum, run the till and open and close the museum. So although it looks like they may just stand and welcome you in, they’re in fact a huge part of running the museum.

We then helped set up with the 1940’s Wartime Weekend and Vintage Fayre that is happening this weekend. We helped move some items for it and then we were assigned to go pick some wild flowers from around the area to use for table decorations. Once we had picked the flowers we got back and arranged them in mason jars, it was a lot harder than we thought it would be but in the end we were very proud of our work.

Day Five

Today was our last day, we started the day by completing the evaluations set by our school. We then planned a presentation and showed some of the staff that we had worked with. The week here has been very beneficial to our learning and it has been very interesting to see how a museum works from the inside. A lot more work goes into maintaining and growing the museum than we initially expected and we have learnt a lot over this week. It showed us how working life is and although it may be stressful sometimes, if you are doing something you are passionate about and love then its always worth it and it seems like everyone here is so passionate about the work they do and we hope that comes through when people visit the museum. Overall it has been a great experience and we have loved every second of it!

Posted in Kelham Island Museum

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