What was it that made you apply to volunteer at RAF Museum Cosford and what were your expectations of the role?
I was looking for a new challenge to support my own professional development and I felt working with the Museum would allow me to encompass all of the prior experience I have gained as a teacher. With the full support of my Head Teacher at Wednesfield High, Claire Gilbert, I now work one day a week at the Museum. My ambition is to not only impact on the learning of the young people within Wednesfield, but to have an impact on a much larger scale and I feel I will have the opportunity to do that here at the Museum. My role was negotiated between the Museum and the Academy and is focused on coordinating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) activities, which involves collaborating with staff and teachers on behalf of the Museum. This includes organising and promoting interdisciplinary STEM projects through the successful programmes that the RAF Museum has instigated, as well as developing further programmes, events and activities.
What do the Access and Learning team do?
The Access and Learning Department do a wonderful job in supporting schools, colleges and other education providers by offering them unique learning experiences as well as links with other institutions and businesses for support beyond the Museum. Wednesfield High developed a close link with the Museum back in 2007 when I first met with the Education Manager Phil Clayton at a Design and Technology network meeting hosted at the Museum. The support that is offered from the Museum and partners of the Museum is integral to the work we do within schools in engaging students in real life contexts and raising their aspirations. We have been involved in various programmes such as the recent ‘Big Bang, Heroes in STEM event’. The Academy is currently working on a glider project and we are hoping to be involved in the VC-10 project, which our students are incredibly excited about.
How has working at the Museum developed and strengthened your skill set?
Being relatively new to the post, I have already gained so much experience from the networking opportunities. By meeting with so many external partners and organisations who work with the Museum on various events, I have quickly gained an understanding of how the Museum functions.
What aspects do you enjoy most about volunteering at the Museum?
The Museum Staff have all been so wonderful, welcoming and supportive, at all levels. It is a unique opportunity to work in a different setting for one day a week, and the chance to work with different schools, businesses and partners of the Museum all supporting the development of STEM. I feel proud to be developing resources and activities that will benefit all schools in engaging with STEM and making our curriculum more exciting.
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering? Sign up now! The volunteers at the Museum are an integral part of the organisation and their work is very much appreciated by the staff at the Museum.