My internship at the Field Museum of Natural History has come to a close and so has my time in Chicago for the summer. And what an amazing summer it was! But, I’m ready to go back to school and complete my masters program! This week I made the long trek to upstate New York to begin my second and final year at the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Lots of exciting opportunities will be coming my way this semester. I’ll be taking courses in applied museum education, museum administration, creative problem solving, and thesis research. Before my classes begin, my colleagues and I will be going on a week-long field trip to Vermont and Montreal. We’ll visit museums galore and eat wonderful food while we catch each other up on our summer adventures. I’m especially looking forward to this Star Wars exhibitionat the Montreal Science Museum that is all about identity.
This fall, in addition to field trips and classes, I will be interning at the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA), in the education department. My internship will involve a range of different educational duties but I will mainly focus on an outline for an online text book (which could be used on IPads and other tablet technologies). The Ohio Historical Association has recently created Ohio As America, an online and interactive text book for fourth and eighth graders that is all about Ohio state history. It is based on the revised Ohio content standards and ELA Common Core State Standards and allows students to access readings, activities, evaluation, and artifacts via the internet.
NYSHA is hoping to start a similar endeavor. Its wealth of state and local history, including the state archives and collections of the Fenimore Art Museum and Farmers’ Museum, make it a perfect candidate. For my internship, I will be writing an online textbook plan including comparisons and examples from other institutions, an explanation of profitability and educational value, and a list of possible funders. I will also be assisting with the planning and implementation of the Teaching American History Grant currently occurring between the New York State Historical Association and Rockland County BOCES. This will include seeking potential speakers and tying in educational materials from the program and lectures into the textbook project plan. Hopefully, this might involve some travel for the Teaching American History (TAH) to a presentation or site visit in the fall! Additionally, I’ll be volunteering my services at the October Conference for Teachers, which is hosted at NYSHA.
It will surely be a busy semester, but one that I look forward to immensely! In the coming months, look forward to posts about my thesis research, East Coast museum adventures, and forays into the world of history textbooks!