Marlon Lewis ’20 Museum of Science and Industry – I have spent my summer working at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, my hometown. I began in early June and will be wrapping up my internship in early August. I have been given the opportunity to work alongside 2 teams within the museum, which very few people have the opportunity to do during their time at the Museum.
For my first three weeks in the Museum, I worked with the Exhibits team. I was able to see and experience firsthand what went on behind the scenes with keeping exhibits running up-to-date and exciting. I helped on projects for 4 of the Museums exhibits – Extreme Ice, You! The Experience, Turn Back The Clock, and Earth Revealed. My favorite of the projects has to be the work I did for You! The Experience. I was tasked with doing the preliminary research into the current conditions of the exhibit and future update and extension ideas. I have learned how to write detailed yet concise reports and the type of language expected when writing reports. For this exhibit alone, I wrote 4 briefs and participated in 5 meetings while holding one myself. When I was not at my desk writing briefs, or brainstorming ideas and prototypes, or in a meeting, I was on the Museum floor observing guest as they interacted with the exhibit. Particularly at a storytelling booth in the exhibit, I would often engage guest and get their feedback and opinions about the booth and their experience. I have spent rest of my time working with the museum’s Fab Lab team, short for Fabrication Laboratory. It is the the same thing as a Makerspace or Hackerspace. For those of you who don’t know what any of those things are, allow me to help. Imagine a room full of 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, embroidery machines, and endless electronics supplies where you can build and create whatever you want, and your only limit is your imagination. I helped the team facilitate workshops and summer camps while also running the 3D printer and 3D filament studies comparing the quality of prints. Working with these two teams in the museum has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Helping people better understand science has always been a goal of mine, and I have taken the first step towards that goal this summer. I am grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for providing me the funds to pursue a summer internship. If it were not for their generosity this amazing experience would not have been possible.