Published by Sonia Ramirez.
Chicago Public School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program gives high school students the chance to get a head start on preparing for college and careers. The CTE program partnered with IMSS this summer to provide an internship for two high school CPS students.
My experience at the International Museum of Surgical Science was great. I felt very reluctant about taking the internship because I wasn’t interested in museums. However, I did this to change my perspective and I am leaving with a great impression of the museum world.
We did many projects, the first one I worked on was writing social media posts. I wrote a post every week and had time to prepare and figure out what I wanted to write about. For instance, one week I wrote about the four physicians that signed the Declaration of Independence, which was posted for the 4th of July. There were a lot of times when I would need help editing and they would stop what they were doing to help me. They would contribute different ideas when I was unsure of things.
Eventually, we started doing projects that were interactive for the visitors. One project I did was create a mini micro tour. To do this, I picked three objects from the collections and did research on them. I gave this tour to visitors on a Saturday, which was fun because I got to talk with different types of people and I learned something new from each conversation. The three objects I picked were an amputation kit, a painting, and prosthetic limbs. I learned many interesting facts such as that J.E.Hanger designed one of the most sophisticated prosthetic legs during the Civil War because it was able to bend at the knee and ankle. This activity helped me communicate better with others. The first time was rough and I was shy but after the second try I became more confident. There were times when the visitors would ask difficult questions but I answered them to the best of my ability.
My favorite part of the internship was wrapping books in the library. This was fun to me because they were old books and I had to write the condition of the book on an index card. Some of the books had a little bit of foxing, mold, or insects inside. The library intern, Tannaz, showed me how and why the museum keeps the books in a certain order so if someone needs that book they know where to find it. Another project I did was make an interactive drop in activity for kids and adults. I chose to teach how to properly wrap your wrist when it is sprained. I wanted the activity to be fun so I encouraged visitors to wear a lab coat and head lamp while wrapping their wrists. During this internship, I even got to see many objects that were not on display in the museum. I was fascinated with an old ultrasound machine. I got to shadow other employees to see what their jobs were like. This was fun because I got a taste of every part of the museum. My overall experience here was great and I learned more than I thought I would. I expanded my knowledge here and I took away a better understanding of the 3 A’s (anesthesia, antisepsis, and anatomy) through this experience.
-Sonia Ramirez, IMSS Teen Education Intern