Engaging all Ages
Lauren Henson is a second year Masters student in Material Culture and Public Humanities (MCPH) at Virginia Tech. Lauren’s research explores relationships between public space and the public it serves as well as program development for youth education and outreach in public humanities institutions. She writes about her experience below.
During a two-week internship within the Department of Education and Outreach at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), I collaborated on two projects and attended a variety of events related to professional development, strategic planning, and administrative management.
Ongoing projects during the two-week internship included drafting artifact descriptions for recently compiled display cases and reviewing web elements for a recently relaunched education-resource webpage.
Day-to-day, I accompanied Education and Outreach staff to internal NMAH meetings on program planning and operations as well as larger gatherings of staff to discuss broader initiatives in education across Smithsonian Institute units.
The internship provided unparalleled insight into the administrative management of outreach operations responsible for nearly 4.5 million annual visitors at the NMAH. I leave with an articulated understanding of how large-scale public institutions engage their audiences through internal and external professional collaborations to continuously foster new strategies for public engagement.