Online Learning Reviews: The Brooklyn Children’s Museum

As mentioned, we’re doing occasional reviews of museum online learning opportunities written for the Spring 2012 class “Museums and Online Learning.” This author has preferred to remain anonymous.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s Collections Central:  Useful, But Not Much Fun

Isn’t it the mission of a children’s museum to make learning fun?

If I were a teacher or a homeschooler, I would find BCM’s Collections Central Online a useful educational resource.  If I were a kid, I would find the site helpful for basic research, but not very much fun.

Good Things

The collection provides access to hundreds of objects from various cultures and eras, with good accompanying information.

The site is easy to use.  Although there is a lot of visual information, navigation is intuitive.  Searching and browsing are both supported.

Browsing creates connections.  If you select an exhibit to browse, you are given a short explanation of the theme and a grid of photos.  Clicking on an image takes you to an object page, which provides basic information about the object and the people who made it.  From here, you are given options to explore “more from the same place,” “more from the same category,” or “more from the same makers.”   These options take you to yet another database of related objects.

Other useful features are the ability to enlarge photos to see detail, the use of questions to organize information, and suggestions for ideas to consider.

Things that Should be Better

The site is hard to find, unless you already know it’s there.  Google keyword searches do not lead you to it.

Language used in information sections needs editing to make it kid-friendly.  More in-depth information and a glossary of terms should be moved to hyperlinked pages.

Non-textual information would give a more rounded experience.  For example, in “What’s That Noise?”, sound recordings would provide knowledge of instruments in a way that a description cannot.  A zoomable map would provide geographical context better than simply listing country of origin.

The ability to “collect” objects would allow users to explore individual connections more freely.

There is an option to “draw what you see.”   Cool, but drawings are not immediately posted to the site.  Instead, there is a “chance” you may see your drawing on a return visit.   A virtual gallery for drawings would provide a better sense of connection to the museum.

There are no games!  Interactive games would make the site more engaging for children.

Overall, it’s a worthwhile site for elementary research, but I can’t really see why anyone would use it for anything else.

Part-Time Science Educator [Brooklyn Children’s Museum]

P-T Science Educator Brooklyn Children’s Museum (Immediate, temp position)

Position/BCM Title:  Science Educator (Part Time Temporary)

Department:   Education

Supervisor:    School Programs Manager

Requirements:

BA degree in science education, natural sciences, engineering, architecture,
museum education or other relevant areas of study; and/or 2-3 years working
in a museum or other educational setting

Excellent public speaking skills and desire to interact with youth and
families

Demonstrated versatility and experience in teaching natural science,
engineering, ethnobotany, architecture and/or physical science programs

Ability to work independently as well as on a team; attention to detail;
initiative and follow-through

Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access

Physically capable of bending and lifting and capable of standing for long
hours.

Experience in handling live animals preferred. Museum will provide training
in handling aquaria, reptiles, amphibians and insects

Responsibilities:

Implement a variety of science programs including, but not limited to,
workshops, school programs, afterschool programs, and gallery facilitation
for children ages 3-14 and their families

Present live animals to large theater audiences (max 150 people)

Assist as needed in basic greenhouse/gardening maintenance and emergent
animal husbandry as needed under the close instruction of other trained
staff members

Data entry

Ensure the maintenance and upkeep of the exhibit spaces

Other duties as required

Schedule:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9:30am-3:30pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm

Work special events and school vacations as needed

This is a temporary position through February 26, 2012

Part time position with no health/dental benefits

Brooklyn Children’s Museum is an equal opportunity employer.

Send resume and cover letter to

Amanda Smith

School Programs Manager

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

145 Brooklyn Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11213
amanda.smith@brooklynkids.org

Vice President for Education and Visitor Experience [Brooklyn Children’s Museum]

BROOKLYN CHILDREN¹S MUSEUM
POSITION AVAILABLE

Vice President for Education and Visitor Experience

The Brooklyn Children¹s Museum is the world¹s first children¹s museum, a
pioneer in the field of non-traditional education. Our mission is to
actively engage children in educational and entertaining experiences
through innovation and excellence in exhibits, program and use of its
collections. We encourage children to develop an understanding of and
respect for themselves, others and the world around them through
exploration of culture, arts, science and the environment. The Museum is
recognized for addressing the educational, cultural, and social concerns
of youth and families in our diverse urban environment. The VP for
Education and Visitor Experience will coordinate and provide leadership
for the activities of the Museum¹s departments of Education,
Collections, Exhibits, and Visitor Services (the Program Departments).
The Education Department delivers programs in natural science, early
childhood, cultural studies, and for the afterschool program. It is also
responsible for the Museum¹s live animal collections, greenhouse and
garden, and library for children. The Exhibits Department handles
maintenance of the galleries, visiting and traveling exhibits, and
includes a repair shop as well as a large inventory of props. The
Collections Department curates and manages a collection of almost 30,000
cultural artifacts and natural science specimens from all over the
world, the Portable Collections program, and the Collections Central
gallery and website. The Visitor Services Department manages admissions,
membership, calendar, shop, café, rental events, group reservations, and
monitoring of the galleries.

Detailed responsibilities include:

€ Direct and supervise the work of the departments; Education,
Exhibits, Collections and Visitor Services departments.
€ Work with the Program Departments to develop programs,
exhibitions, and projects that will interpret the Museum¹s mission in
current terms and ensure a high-quality educational and entertaining
experience for visitors; to create program schedules; to develop project
proposals; to assist in fundraising efforts; to prepare and manage
annual departmental budgets; and to prepare annual and long-range
planning goals, objectives and strategies.
€ Develop partnerships with schools and maintain communication
between the Museum and the Board of Education; as well as private school
systems, colleges and universities.
€ Work with staff to develop programs that increase public access
and use of the Museum collections.
€ Communicate and represent the projects and priorities of the
four departments and of the Museum to a variety of constituencies
including Museum staff, public audiences, community groups, schools,
other cultural institutions, and government and private funding agencies
as necessary
€ Strengthen partnerships and collaborations with community
groups, peer institutions, and the field at large

Qualifications:
. 8+ years of experience in a management position in a museum or
educational setting, plus a background in museum education;
. Excellent team leadership and interpersonal skills;
. Excellent written and oral communication skills;
. Experience conceptualizing and writing project proposals for
government and foundation grants and project management experience;
. Graduate degree in museums, education, or early childhood studies
preferred;
. Familiarity, in addition, with visitor services, collections, and
exhibition areas preferred.

Send cover letter, resume, writing samples, and salary requirement to:
Human Resources, VP for Education and Visitor Experience, Brooklyn
Children¹s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213.
Fax (718) 604-7442. vpeducation@brooklynkids.org , Competitive salary
and excellent benefits. Equal opportunity employer.
Posted 7/8/11

MORE / LESSHOW TO APPLY
Send cover
letter, resume, writing samples, and salary requirement to:
Human Resources, VP for Education and Visitor Experience, Brooklyn
Children¹s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213. Fax (718)
604-7442. vpeducation@brooklynkids.org , Competitive salary and
excellent benefits. Equal opportunity employer.
Posted 7/8/11

Cultural Programs Educator [Brooklyn Children’s Museum]

POSITION/TITLE: CULTURAL PROGRAMS EDUCATOR (P/T)

DEPARTMENT: EDUCATION

SUPERVISOR: MANAGER OF CULTURE AND ACCESS PROGRAMS

REQUIREMENTS:
·         BA in Education, Museum Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Anthropology, or other relevant field required
·         Two years experience working with children Pre-K-12
·         Special Education and Early Childhood Education experience preferable

RESPONSIBILITIES:
·         Research, develop and teach cultural programs for school groups (grade K-6), camp groups and public programs for family audiences based on exhibitions, collection objects and standards-based
·         Develop and implement Professional Development Workshops for Educators
·         Develop and implement curriculum for Museum Team, BCM¹s after school program
·         Develop and teach school programs for museum’s educational outreach initiative, facilitating and moderating classroom discussion on topics of world cultures using our Portable Collections
·         Participate in the production of special museum-wide events and act as point-person, as needed
·         Identify and foster community partnerships to enhance the cultural programs with focus in World Brooklyn exhibit and programming
·         Identify, book and serve as contact for presenters and performers for museum performances and series (i.e. Free Summer Concerts and Early Learning performance series)
o   Handle A/V equipment
o   Serve as host for performers and performances
·         Supervise and mentor assigned high school, college interns and volunteers
·         Responsible for reporting, evaluating and archiving cultural programs at large
·         Other duties as assigned

WORK SCHEDULE:
1. Work regularly four days a week (weekends included)
2. Flexible to cover additional hours for paid time to cover emergently, as needed
3. Part time position with no health/dental benefits

BCM is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please send letter of interest and resume to:
Julie Marie Seibert, Manager of Culture and Access Programs
Brooklyn Children¹s Museum
145 Brooklyn Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213
Fax: (718) 604-7442
E-mail:jseibert[at]brooklynkids[dot]org