Learning From Being a Camps Intern

by Terry Melo

My first intentions for coming in contact with the Adler were to get ahead of the game by completing community service hours requested from my school. I never thought that volunteering at the Adler would lead me to a newfound passion for space and an awesome job working with children.

I came to appreciate how magnificent and unique this museum by obtaining the characteristic of contributing interaction between the guest and staff. In my own experience, Volunteering as a Floor Programs Facilitator allowed me to interact with the visitors by demonstrating science rules and having an educational conversation with them. It also granted me the opportunity to obtain my own definition of volunteering and insight on why the Adler staffs the museum floor with mission specialists, who are proficient in using their voice to engage museum visitors, volunteers, and other program facilitators for the guest to interact with. It soon became clear to me that being able to interact and engage visitors was a beneficial key to complete the evening. Applying for the Summer Internship at the Adler Planetarium I knew I wanted a job where I would be able to interact with people, or in the case of my position, campers. After learning so much from a short time as volunteering, I was ready to take on an everyday job for my summer vacation.

Following the application due in early April and group interview taken place in late May, I became a Summer Camps Intern at the Adler. As this type of intern I was given the responsibilities of being a second hand for the instructor of the specific age group of the camp by helping to provide an experience that engages yet still allows campers to have fun. For this being my first job I didn’t expect the amount of dependability and experience I would gain from being in Summer Camps. This internship also requires an individual project each intern must complete by the time of our Intern hosted event named Community Bash in order to showcase what we have been working on over the course of 6 weeks. For my specific individual project I created a lesson plan for first graders through kindergarteners that the instructor of that age specific camp informed them how Earth looked from outer space with the help of their own experiences. After they learned how daytime and nighttime affected our home planet, they were able to create their own models of Earth.

Brainstorming an idea and an execution plan for my project wasn’t easy but with the help coming from observing the selected age groups in camps and guidance from my supervisor allowed me to revise my lesson plan to perfection. Watching the very lesson I created being done and lighting up the campers faces and minds was an experience I would never forget and forever cherish. The development of creating the lesson plan offered a view of what teachers of every grade go through. Teachers brainstorm, create, test, and finalize their lesson plans constantly to bring the best of what they could offer to their students. During the creation of my lesson plan I felt I had the responsibilities of a teacher; therefore, I had to soak up every inch of advice and request for clarity given to me. Acquiring these responsibilities made me appreciate and obtain a desire of becoming a teacher. Watching the instructor astonish the campers with her invisible magic through science topics and engagement caught my attention and appreciation for what they do to, which lead to the desire of not only wanting to teach but learn from those around me in a educationally environment.

This internship is more than just a paycheck but rather an experience that can guarantee an acceptable way of leading when using the skills I’ve learned here at the Adler. It has provided a summer of gaining the knowledge of a workplace, of a teacher and an outlook of my desired career. Throughout one’s life each should encounter in a learning experience that grants a future prospect of what they might want to take on as a career. Adler Planetarium has become a milestone in my life that I will continue to keep in contact with and continue my learning experience.


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