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Interns at American Museum of Natural History create visitor tours for summer training scheme

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New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is hosting more than 30 local students for a summer of training, with the interns at the museum acting as tour guides for its visitors, putting a personal spin on things with their own unique theme.

Part of the Museum Education and Employment Programme (MEEP) and supported by the New York Life Foundation, participants undergo an intensive four-week paid training course with museum educators and scientists, learning about the content of the museum's halls and educational techniques it practices.

Interns who complete the training scheme then gain six weeks of employment, in which they design and conduct creative tours for the more than 500 camp groups that visit through the summer. When not giving tours, the students are stationed around the museum with rolling carts containing artefacts that visitors can touch and ask questions about.

This year’s MEEP interns have created a number of programmes, including Kelly Tran, 19, who has combined geology with mythology as she looks at the legends and stories surrounding artefacts in the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites and the Guggenheim Hall of Minerals. Cats are the focus of Nazia Chowdhury, 21, who takes tours featuring dioramas with jaguars and lynx in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals and tigers and leopards in the Hall of Asian Mammals. Matthew Loyd, 19, has taken the museum’s prehistoric animals for his inspiration, guiding visitors through the age of dinosaurs and how they adapted to diverse environments.

“Since its creation, MEEP has offered hundreds of New York City young adults an unparalleled opportunity to transform their natural enthusiasm into engaging educational experiences for thousands of Museum visitors,” said Ruth Cohen, senior director of Education Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning at the Museum. “Time and time again we hear from MEEP alumni about the profound impact the programme has made on their development, with many continuing to inspire others by pursuing successful careers in science education.”

Previous iterations of the programme, which was established in 1996, have proved a great success, with MEEP alumni including Georgia Aquarium executive vice president and COO, Joe Handy, and Frederick A.O. Schwarz Children’s Center director Franny Kent.

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New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is hosting more than 30 local students for a summer of training, with the interns at the museum acting as tour guides for its visitors, putting a personal spin on things with their own unique theme.
VAT,HAM,TRA
Trainees design and conduct creative tours for the more than 500 camp groups that visit through the summer / AMNH

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