Museum Blog

“My CTE Summer Internship” by Lauren Diggins

Published by Lauren Diggins.

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 Internship at the International Museum of Surgical Science was a good experience for me because it was something different from my old summer jobs. This internship was different because I had never worked at a museum before. Additionally, I had a lot of opportunities to do different types of research and develop different types of activities. During this internship, I learned a lot about the museum, like whose house it was before it was turned into a museum and how it’s connected to the International College of Surgeons. The Eleanor Robinson Countiss house is designated as one of the “Seven Houses on Lake Shore Drive.” Dr. Max Thorek founded the International College of Surgeons in 1935 and founded the International Museum of Surgical Science in 1954. Before I started working at the museum I thought it would be less exciting, but it was actually fun and historical! More than just being fun, I was able to actually do more than I thought I was going to do.


Drop-in Activity: Organ Origami

During my internship I was able to improve my communication skills, share my ideas with others, and develop many activities. Of those activities, there were two that really stuck with me. The first activity I did at the museum was a mini micro tour. To start the process of creating my tour, I picked three items and did research on them to have more information to share with visitors.

This was a good experience for me because I got to share the information I learned while being at the museum. The other activity I enjoyed developing was a drop-in educational  activity which also let me share what I had learned while being at the museum. The drop-in activity was fun because I was able to interact with visitors and see how creative they were.

Overall, this internship was a great experience for me because when people ask me what I did over the summer, I can tell them that I had an internship at the International Museum of Surgical Science learning things I didn’t know a lot about. I like to step outside my comfort zone just to say I did it. Additionally, it kept me out the house and actually doing something that would look good on my behalf. The staff at the museum made me feel like one of them and like I played an important role in the museum while I was there.


Organ Origami Interpetive Station

There was never a day where I felt like I didn’t belong because they made sure I was comfortable. I enjoyed shadowing the tours, working with the tools, and being able to take the information I learned and share it with others. It really excites me to know that I can learn new information and successfully teach it to someone else. In the museum there is a travelling exhibition called FLUX: Responding to Head and Neck Cancer. I really liked FLUX because it talks about head and neck cancer which I found very interesting. Additionally, visitors can share their opinion about the exhibition on response cards which is really amazing. I appreciate that visitors can come share their own personal stories because the exhibition makes them feel comfortable and that the museum has an exhibition that creates a voice for those who have experienced head and neck cancer to share how they feel. This museum is very amazing and I appreciate being able to learn a lot about surgeons, different medicines and how they worked.

– Lauren Diggins, IMSS Teen Education Intern