So far our Natural Science Volunteers have been working away deep in the stores of the Museum Collections Centre (MCC), literally without being able to see the light of day! But last week we let them loose on the public!
Laura, Lukas, Sarah and I took part in two days in which we encouraged visitors at Thinktank and MCC to engage with natural science. We firstly ran a ‘Meet the Volunteer Day’ at Thinktank, speaking to around 250 visitors and showing them natural science specimens from Thinktank’s handling collections. The volunteers also brought in a few specimens from their own collections including a very popular baby mammoth tooth!
My favourite part of our set up was a ‘hands-on’ Tree of Life, a greatly simplified version of this one from Darwin 200. This table (right) allowed us not only to show visitors specimens, but also to demonstrate how groups of animals are connected to each other. The fact they could touch all of the objects made it even more of a winner!
Overall the day went really smoothly, though I don’t think the volunteers expected so many people or appreciated how often they would have to repeat themselves!
Our second outing came last Sunday at the MCC Open Day to which a whopping 550 came! I think we probably talked to around 200 people up in the Natural Science Store of the Centre. It’s fairly tucked away so I was impressed that, that many people found us! Here it was great to show people specimens that are very rarely viewed and it gave the volunteers the opportunity to talk about their work in the place they actually do it!
If you missed us at these events there is one finally opportunity to talk to us. We are taking over the BMAG twitter feed on the 30th of August 10.00am- 4.00pm to talk about the project and tell tales from the stores! Do join us and tweet away!