August 11, 2014

Program Internship Wrap-Up

By Sarah Kelly, Program Intern

With just a couple weeks of summer left, I’ve found myself stopping to take a moment and think about how grateful I am for what I’ve been able to do these last few months at the Science Center. It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over but I guess time flies when you’re having fun and I’ve been having a blast. Being from New Hampshire, I’ve been coming to the Science Center since I was little and have always loved it. When I discovered that they offered an internship I was so excited and sent in my application immediately. Looking back to that time is a bit surreal when I consider that I’m here now. This experience has been everything I hoped it would be.

I started this summer shadowing one of the naturalists through his classes. Sitting through these programs taught me very quickly the basics of the natural history of the area and of the animals we have at the Science Center. From there I started to go off campus and assist with outreach programs at various camps, libraries, and community centers. From these programs I continued to learn about the native wildlife of New Hampshire from the naturalists and had the opportunity to talk to people about them myself. I’ve done a lot of this since in the Up Close to Animals presentations held daily for visitors. These presentations are a great opportunity for me to inform people of the special characteristics of New Hampshire wildlife, and for visitors to see and gain appreciation of the animals up close, and bring up topics that concern them. I’ve been able to discuss these ideas with people of all ages, especially kids, which was helpful for the next part of my internship.

This part involved helping out with summer Guided Discoveries, which are day programs focused on environmental themes. This gave me a much better look at how younger children learn and become engaged to new ideas about the world around them.

I’m finishing my internship working in animal care. Here I see and work behind the scenes taking care of the animals by cleaning, feeding, and enriching. Getting to work up close with some of the animals is an invaluable experience that I’ve always hoped for and now will never forget.

It’s amazing to me the amount that I’ve learned this summer. While I am studying pre-veterinary medicine in college, I haven’t learned too much about wildlife or environmental studies there, so I’ve picked up a great deal of knowledge in just a couple months. After college, I hope to find a career working with wildlife. This internship has been an amazing experience but also has put me in the direction that I would like to pursue. I am beyond grateful for the time I’ve had at the Science Center and the people who have taught me so much this summer. The Science Center has always been one of my favorite places and I’m so lucky to have been given this experience of a lifetime.

No comments: