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.


My Experience So Far

by Surizaday Hernandez

Five days a week for five hours a day you will find me working at the Adler planetarium. I am having an awesome time working here. I am learning A LOT of great information about anything to do with the outer Earth. One specific topic that my internship has made me appreciate is comets. I am fascinated by the fact the all of Earths water comes from comets that crashed into this planet billions of years ago. What I like most about comets it that they are only made out of ice and dust. I find that quite fascinating because these are simple materials the I can easily find at my house. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on comets that’s for sure.

I’ve made so much progress with speaking skills. In the beginning of the internship I made some goals for what I was expecting to gain from this internship, and the main one was to improve in my speaking skills. I have never been good at communicating or just talking in general. During the years of elementary I developed a very insecure personality because of some really bad experiences with some school peers. I’ve beeing coming out of my shell little by little since then. During this internship I had to act as an actual staff member and do activity carts. There are different kinds of activity carts, but the very first one I tried out was Balloon rockets. For this activity I have to explain the law of physics “for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction” by launching a balloon rocket with a just straw and tape. The first time I did the activity by myself I was shaking, sweating, getting goosebumps, tearing up; you name it I probably went through it. I stuttered a bit but I was able to suck it up and launch a rocket to the moon because I had a lot of support from michael Simms and his crew. I am confident enough to go out and encourage people to come join my for a rocket launch.

My favorite part of the day is lunch time! I always eat at Galileo’s Cafe at the any table really close to the window so I can stare at lake michigan. Sometimes I start eating alone because of my schedule for the day. Lunch has always and forever will be my favorite part of every day. I love how we have the freedom to eat wherever we want because I can go outside and eat by the lake. Lunch gives me time to get myself together, so I always look forward to that. The best lunch is when I get to spend it with all my co workers because we just spend the whole time laughing. Another awesome thing about working here at the Adler Planetarium is that we get a 20% discount for Galileos cafe. I think the chicken tenders are awesome there and I love how i get a discount when I buy them.

Even though I didn’t really get to go out with my friends in the summer it was still one of the best summer vacations of my life. I got to meet new people and make friends with all of them. I learned what it’s like to have a job with a lot of requirements. Everything I learned here got me really excited because this isn’t the usual stuff I learn at school. For example I learned the difference between dressing up business casual and just business. For some people this might not be important, but to me it is because business casual to me used to be jeans and a nice blouse. The small things of this internship make a big difference in my life.

Adler Teen Interns

by Simeon Norfleet

This summer has been a wonderful experience working with summer camps at the Adler Planetarium. It all went by so fast but I know that I have learned some valuable skills applicable to anything I want to do in the future. Teamwork is one thing that I worked on this summer with my fellow interns ( #Terry #DejaMiaGraceWouldfolk #Amanda ). We all know the struggle of Oobleck, a non-newtonian substance made of water and cornstarch that does not follow newton’s law of liquids, from the mixing to get the right consistency to cleaning the never ending pile of dishes and Oobleck (cement) mixer. We overcame this vigorous manual labor by banding together and making, playing with, and cleaning that oobleck. Oobleck wasn’t all bad though. It might have been best part of the curriculum in the #SummerWorldsTour camps. The kids had so much fun testing it with their rovers. The assignment was to build rovers that could float on oobleck for 15 seconds and be pulled out of the OObleck easily with 2 fingers. There were some rovers with the inability to float but almost every single camper tried their best to construct a successful rover and was a good sport about it. But there are always the exceptions and that brings me to another skill that i developed this summer: Patience.

Kids will naturally be rowdy but different grade levels deserve different levels of patience from the leader of the class. For example the kindergarten through 1st grade group of camp required a lot more patience because of how young they were and the fact that they were still learning how to correctly behave. But the same level of patience would not be applied to the seventh through ninth graders in tech camp because they are old enough to know what’s right and wrong in most situations. Learning how to gauge the way I interact with people is vital with the campers and in any other situation as well. For example I have to approach people just as old as me differently in the workspace, than I would on the street.

The Adler Treasure Hunt

by Quinn Shepherd

Visiting the Adler is like exploring the treasures of Smaug the Dragon: spread throughout the museum, both on the floor and in storage, is the abundance of beautiful, valuable, and breathtaking artifacts. However, the sheer volume of these items can make finding the truly interesting ones difficult. Never fear! With my experience of navigating the floor and uncovering the secrets of the Adler, I’ll help you to understand which artifacts are truly deserving of a pause and a “Wow…”.

The Adler has many artifacts in the collections that represent historical models of the Solar System and planetary motion. The most incredible of this bunch, in my opinion, is the Grand Orrery located in the Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass exhibit. An orrery is a mechanical device that shows the movement of our Solar System’s planets around the Sun. Orreries, including the Adler’s Grand Orrery, are an incredible example of the shift towards a heliocentric solar system model that had been neglected for so long. Heliocentricity is the theory popularized by Copernicus that proposed that instead of the Earth being the center of the Universe, the Earth was in fact just another body moving around a larger Sun. This change in thought is known as the Heliocentric Revolution. Orreries became tools after this change to showcase this movement in a visual format. The Adler’s Grand Orrery is special because besides just including the inner, rocky planets, it includes some of the gas giants as well. The Grand Orrery was even expanded to include Uranus after it’s discovery! Besides being an interesting way of looking back at the beginnings of new scientific thought, the Orrery is also beautifully designed, with careful care put into the Zodiac plaques attached to the sides. Unfortunately, despite my salesmanship, the Orrery is not for sale. It’s still worthwhile to get a peek at this great artifact!

Though objects such as the Grand Orrery may seem old with their 18th century origins, the Adler has some truly ancient gems hidden around the museum. Examples of such are the astronomical tablets written by the Mesopotamians. Mesopotamia was located in what is today Iraq and Kuwait, and the accomplishments of the native people in terms of agriculture, writing, and urban development have had a lasting effect of the development of civilization in Eurasia. Two of the empires that enveloped Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Assyria, continue to be well known for their astronomical developments, despite their obvious lack of modern technology. These incredible assets do not have much significance for modern astronomy, but they do provide an insight into the incredible efforts of ancient people to understand the cosmos. The tablets that the Adler possesses include accurate predictions of inner planetary motion and calendars based off of the lunar cycles. And while seeing these items have much historical significance, it can also be an incredibly enlightening experience to know that people have been scanning the sky for thousands of years in search of meaning and understanding.

The collections at the Adler give guests a chance to realize how any object- from a large, wooden decoration piece to an ancient, cracked tablet- can be representative of the beliefs, hopes, and developments of a culture. However, these two artifacts are just the tip of the iceberg. Come inside and get exploring!

Final Blog

by DejaMia Wouldfolk

I think if you’re looking to start out somewhere as a first job or to get work experience, you should try joining the Adler team first. If you’ve seen the Red-Eye newspaper article on internships, you might not be too excited about getting one. They discuss how interns are overworked and underappreciated. It also talks about how they’re taken advantage of. At the Adler everyone is welcomed and made to feel like a part of the museum family. Every person seems to counts here. Before I started working at the Adler, I was afraid and I thought people would ignore me because I was an intern or that i’d be running constant unnecessary errands. I was very wrong. The workers here are always friendly and so helpful when I have any questions. Every chance I get, i’m going to volunteer or work at the Adler.

Interning at the Adler was by far the best summer. In my opinion, it’s the best place for teenagers to intern. It kept me adjusted for school as well. I hate waking up early! By working here, I conditioned myself to be okay with waking up early so when school starts again, it’s not a huge problem. Being an intern is so much different than being a permanent worker or a volunteer. As an intern you learn the ropes and actually get proper introductions into things and I actually feel more welcome as an intern. Most places, interns are just there as an extra hand but here, we’re included and introduced to everyone. As a permanent worker, you’re introduced usually once if at all. As interns we all work together almost everyday. There’s a lot of support from our peers as well as our supervisor.

One part I really enjoyed was our independent projects. For the summer camp interns we were expected to create a lesson plan. As a camp intern, we were there to help the teacher so they wouldn’t have to leave the classroom. We would socialize with the campers when we werent on an errand, it was a great experience. We all had a variety of lesson plans we wanted to try out. For mine, I drafted a lesson that would teach 2nd and 3rd graders the order of the planets, what a planet is and an easy way to remember the order of the planets.

This actually wasn’t my first internship at the Adler. In the Spring of 2013 I participated in an internship called “Astro Journalists”. We basically would write articles on things we found interesting about space or other things around that topic. I found out about that internship through my school and I decided I wanted to try to build a relationship with the Adler. I applied for it and I was so happy when I found out I’d been chosen. The three things I learned that stick with me the most are: Before you get a paid job you’re mostly likely going to have an unpaid one first, dark matter is unknown but it makes up a significant portion of our galaxy and we know more about what dark matter is not rather than what it is. I love the Adler community and from now on I’m going to be involved as much as I can.

My ultimate goal now for the following year as an intern is to get a job next summer as a camp counselor. I really loved working with the Technology Campers. They were so engaged and ready to learn. I thought back to when I was the same age as them, about six to nine, I couldn’t even remember my mother’s telephone number and they can already build robots and program them! I was so amazed by these campers and I only got to work with them for 3 days. I didnt think id like waking up early in the summer. Working here, I’m always excited to start work and I think of how great the day will be. I’m really glad I did an unpaid internship here back in the Spring. I probably wouldn’t have found out about the summer camps internship and I know my chances would have been smaller. My advice to every high school student is to start building work experience as early as you can. You don’t have to get paid to gain work experience. Lots of places like to see volunteer work and unpaid internships.

Final Blog

by Marc Cassanova

Whether you’ve heard about it or not, if you like opening up your mind to our universe, then I think the Adler Planetarium is a cool place to check out. Before I started working here, I never knew about the Adler. I found out about it through high school when I was looking for internships to apply to. Don’t be fooled like I was, the Adler is not just another boring museum. Before actually exploring it, I imagined the Adler just being like any other museum; glass exhibits, and lots of information. In my opinion, this is sort of boring. Although it has these traditional museum components there is more to the Adler than just that.

After applying, I got accepted as a Telescope Intern, and my first thoughts on the Adler were proven wrong. The Adler is NOT boring. Although working here has been an educational experience, it’s also been a fun one. There are a variety of activities you can do to keep you busy in and outside of the building. The Doane Telescope, for example, is one of the activities you can check out to keep you doing something.

As a Telescope Intern, the Doane is where I work for most of my internship. So far, the other interns and I have done solar viewing with the public. This is where we encourage people to come and check out the Doane so we can give out some cool facts about our Sun, and the building itself. For example, the building was created in 1977 and because of Halley’s Comet, the Adler was able to raise some money and buy a new telescope, which was created in 1987. Before I started working in the Doane, being able to operate the telescope sounded like a fun job. I turned out to be right, and being able to look through was an added bonus. Everything’s great, just mind the long periods of standing, and the bugs you might see crawling around.

When I’m not in the Doane, I either work on making a tour with World Wide Telescope, which is a program that allows us to view space in different ways, or on an independent project that was showcased at this year’s Community Bash, which is an event that showcases the teen interns’ work. At first I felt like making the tour was something that I would not want to do during the summer, since it sounded like school work. I felt like I should be relaxing instead of working. But it’s actually been fun to make something with other teens, mainly because it was showcased at the Community Bash.

My independent project was something in the works. When I figure out what exactly what I wanted to do, it was fun to show off at the Community Bash along with the other interns’ projects. The project was a live presentation in the Grainger Theater explaining how we view and navigate our sky with the constellations. I’ve already gotten a better understanding about space in general, and I like to talk about it with friends and family. So I hope some you guys come and check out the Adler, and get a cool experience out of it while you’re there.

Investigating the Mysteries of Our Universe

by Alexander Pei

The most exciting phenomena in our universe are black holes. They are a mystery to mankind, hiding its secrets inside of it. That is how I described my experience at Adler Planetarium. I did not know what I expected until I discovered all the information that waited inside.

I visited the Adler Planetarium on Monday August 5, 2013 at around 4:30 PM. At this time, there was a special event called the Community Bash where I watched Junior Research Scientists present their nanotariums and presentations on the constellations of our night sky.

The front of the museum was inviting, a large, domed building creates all sorts of wonderment. I walked into the building to get my admission. The staff was polite, and they kindly gave me general admission for free because I am a CPS student. At this time, the museum was not very busy, probably due to the day and the hour.

Adler Planetarium did a great job of appealing to multiple age groups. Upon entering the actual exhibits, I was immediately captivated by the beauty of the exhibits. The first one I saw was the Solar System exhibit that explained the planets of our solar system. Each panel contained detailed descriptions of our planets as well as interesting facts and history about the planets. I examined each of the panels, squeezing out every bit of information that I could. The panels contain information that is interesting to the public and are not too complicated to understand. The language of the panel can be understood by most who read them without being too basic. The graphic representations of the planets themselves are beautiful and high quality.

The next exhibit I saw was the Planet Explorer which was an interactive exhibit that simulated life on Earth and some of the other planets. Activities in this area included controlling rovers to move rocks. I had to put myself in the perspective of a young kid to thoroughly enjoy this exhibit. The Solar System exhibit seemed to target older visitors due to the large amount of reading and understanding required, while this exhibit catered to kids. This area was filled with places to run around and hide, as well as many buttons to push. Adler Planetarium did a very good job of satisfying a large spectrum of ages with their exhibits.

Another experience that I had was interacting with the activity carts that explained different types of science. For example, a staff person demonstrates a hands-on activity that shows viewers a plasma globe and allowing them to use magnets to change the filaments (which look like little lightning bolts) inside of the globe. I was engaged with a demonstration of a vacuum chamber and was impressed by the knowledge of the person presenting. Not only did I learn a little bit about vacuums and pressure, I learned that Adler Planetarium chooses qualified employees that understand the content that they are teaching.

As I descended into the lower levels of the Adler Planetarium, my attention was immediately captured by the beautiful lights in the darkness. The first exhibit that I saw was the Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time, which discusses the Big Bang theory. Adler Planetarium utilizes amazing projection effects and sound effects to simulate an environment that the visitor has never seen before. The hallway was pulsating red and blue and booming with sounds that I found to be wonderful. I enjoyed very much the content of the Big Bang theory, opening my eyes to the vastness of our universe.

While the mystery of the black hole still lingers in my mind, I managed to make a discovery of my own. I learned about the Adler Planetarium and astronomy. Overall, my experience at the Adler Planetarium was amazing. The planetarium does an excellent job of involving all groups of ages and creating an amazing environment that makes Astronomy very enjoyable. I would like to see the Adler Planetarium add activity stations explain in detail the Theory of General Relativity, because the display that they have now is difficult to understand.