Being immersed in the exciting opportunities of STEM doesn’t always require a full-time career commitment. Wednesday Batchelor is a museum volunteer in Cambridge, UK where she combines her artistic talent with a passion for museums and earth sciences into a rewarding opportunity to share knowledge with the diverse people she interacts with every day. Below she shares a little about her experiences and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Museums (Earth science)
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
I am very passionate about museums and passing the knowledge and enthusiasm of earth science to visitors of all ages. I am a volunteer, so I see all aspects of the museums that I work in, with the aim of getting enough experience alongside my Masters degree to earn a career full time within the industry. My roles include creating artwork for displays, running activities and events as well as working in the museum collections and working on encouraging young people to visit by thinking of ideas to attract guests, such as events, talks and crafts.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
Perhaps a passion for animals or history or science, a love of museums or learning and passing knowledge to others.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
I adored museums from a very young age and was a huge fan of dinosaurs and animals; my parents took me to the natural History Museum in London and encouraged me with dinosaur toys. I first started volunteering at 16 in a small museum, and it was the best fun.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
It’s a role I feel passion for, in buildings I adore, with people equally enthusiastic about the field. My role model was the curator of the first museum I volunteered with, who gave me lots of opportunities to gain experience, and with whom I’m still in touch now.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
I’m currently helping to prepare an Iguanodon dinosaur for display. I get to study and draw/paint lots of incredible animals such as smilodon and anomalocaris! Being behind the scenes in a museum and seeing all of the collections is an incredible feeling!
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
Don’t hold back! Volunteering is a fantastic way to start in museums and gives you invaluable experience to support you in your future career! You don’t have to give up a lot of your time, but you’ll have loads of fun and gain so much!
Thank you for contributing, Wednesday!
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