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Postal Museum Volunteer Opportunities - Sept 11, 2010
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Postal Museum Volunteer Opportunities - Sept 11, 2010

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This presentation is for the September 2010 volunteer class at the Postal Museum. It describes the two volunteer opportunities available.

This presentation is for the September 2010 volunteer class at the Postal Museum. It describes the two volunteer opportunities available.

Published in: Education

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Transcript

  • 1. Saturday, September 11, 2010
    Smithsonian National Postal Museum
    Volunteer Training
  • 2. Volunteer Opportunities Available
    Highlights Tour Docent
    Collection Connection Station Facilitator
    More information about both positions is available in your handbook!
  • 3. What is a Highlights Tour?
    Fosters connections between visitors and the museum’s collection and themes
    40 minute guided experience through multiple museum exhibit spaces
    Based on content research and personal passions
    Integrates Visitors’ Experiences
    Storytelling
  • 4. What does a Docent do?
    Sets up a set time to start a tour
    Arrives 10 minutes before hand to review galleries
    Gathers tour group at the top of the escalators
    Introduces the theme and gets to know visitors on tour
    Connects visitors to museum themes through three to four interpretive object-based stops
    Concludes tour
  • 5. Example Tour Themes
    Romance & Reality of the Mails
    Innovation and the Post
    American History and the Mail
    Oops!
    “Letters Mingle Souls”
  • 6. What is a Collection Connection Station?
    Fosters connections to the museum’s collection and themes
    Personal
    Across galleries
    Visitor-driven
    Active
    Social
    Flexible, adaptive
    Short
    For everyone
    Fun
  • 7. What do Collection Connection Facilitators do?
    Situate themselves in a high-traffic area, facing the flow of visitors
    Welcome and greet
    Observe visitor characteristics and adapt
    Offer activity
  • 8. What does a Collection Connection Facilitators do? (Continued)
    Use interaction techniques
    Inquiry
    problem solving
    tactile
    Engage visitors
    Make connections
    Listen
    Recommend gallery elements
    Answer questions, orient, smile
    Replicas of “Snowshoe” Thompson’s skis are available for use at stations!
  • 9. Example stations
    Facilitators create their own station, starting from scratch or a classic pre-existing station
    Owney Tags
    Railway Post Office Mail Sorting
    Be a Postal Historian
    Topical Stamp Collecting
  • 10. Let’s try one!
    I’m Owney, unofficial mascot of the Railway Mail. I traveled the country on mail trains and collected the tags you see on my jacket. Visitors ask many questions about me; I’m a perfect topic for a station! Woof!
  • 11. The Owney Tag Cart
    Materials could include “phony Owney,” images of Railway Post Office (RPO) clerks, a sorting practice case used by RPO clerks, etc
    Directions the cart could go:
    Sharing Owney’s story
    Talking about life on the job for RPO clerks
    Making a tag
    Trying out the sorting case
    Recommended gallery stops:
    See the real Owney
    Explore the train
    See the dog sled
  • 12. Be a Postal Historian
    Adapting to visitor’s needs (kneeling)
    Connecting to a gallery experience (next, go see…)
    Holding a piece of history (real mailbag)
  • 13. How does this benefit museum visitors?
    What do you think?
  • 14. How does this benefit museum visitors?
    Personalized engagement
    Personal connections make the experience memorable, personal, and fun
    Active learning
    Fun
    Orientation
    Energizing, fights museum fatigue
    Education in action
  • 15. What’s in it for Facilitators?
    Variety
    Showcase a story you love
    Visitor-driven learning leads to pleasant surprises; always learning something new
  • 16. Questions asked on Saturday
    How much space can I have?
    Your station should fit on a six-foot table. We will help you edit your station so that you don’t have too much or too little going on.
  • 17. Questions asked on Saturday
    Docents take tour groups throughout the museum. Will I feel “stuck” in one spot?
    Many docents spend much of their tours in the “Moving the Mail” exhibit in the atrium because it’s such a great area and story. This is where you will be! You will be recommending gallery stops to visitors and even shaping what they will see and do there. You are also bringing gallery topics and ideas out from their hiding spots into the atrium for more people to enjoy.
  • 18. Questions asked on Saturday
    Are artifacts available for me to use?
    Yes! The Education Department collection includes snow skis, a World War II era mail bag, thousands of postage stamps, and more. We will do a “Show & Tell” at a future training to help you get to know these items and their stories. We are also prepared to purchase materials and props to turn your station concept into reality.
  • 19. Questions asked on Saturday
    When do stations take place?
    Any two-hour shift between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. You could select an 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. shift, for example. Or 1-3 p.m. You decide!
    How long do stations last?
    Shifts are two hours. This includes time at the beginning and end of your shift to set up and put away your station materials, record visitors numbers, etc.
  • 20. More questions? E-mail Erin at blascoe@si.edu