This post was written by Rachel Fletcher, education intern during the summer of 2016.
During my six-week internship at the Smithsonian Libraries, I attained a deeper understanding of librarianship and a greater appreciation for the Smithsonian Institution. I am a special education teacher working in northern Virginia. I completed my undergraduate degrees in Special Education and Elementary Education in 2011, and, just this past summer, I obtained my Library & Information Sciences degree. This internship allowed me to utilize my skills as an educator while gaining beneficial experience working in a library setting.
The project I was assigned was the perfect fit between my work as a teacher and the knowledge gained from my master’s degree. I have spent my time working in the Education and Outreach Office delving through the myriad images from works owned by the Smithsonian Libraries. These images have been uploaded electronically and are a perfect resource for the I See Wonder Project to which I am contributing. The images are vastly different. They range from a magician, to a rooster, to a rhinoceros that looks like it’s wearing military armor!
My job has been to locate a group of pictures that fit into a category that meshes with school curriculum. Categories include: mammals, transportation, plants, astronomy, inventions, etc. I then write a short narrative description for each image that could connect to any student, from a 3rd grader to a high school student. The goal of the project is for teachers and students to utilize the images in their school classrooms. The Smithsonian is a resource to be used by educators, and we hope that this project will help better connect the two.
I have greatly enjoyed my time working as an intern in the Digital Programs and Initiatives Department and am excited to apply the available Smithsonian resources that I have learned about in my middle school classroom.