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Behind the Scenes with the Learning & Engagement Officer

30 May 2021

In our latest blog series, we're going behind the scenes at the Museum with our staff and volunteers. This week Laura has written about a day in the life of the Learning & Engagement Officer.

I’m Laura, and as the Learning & Engagement Officer, I am responsible for Learning and Engagement at Brooklands Museum. Learning and Engagement can be a great many things: a family activity making craft cars, STEM inspired workshops for school groups, museum problem-solving trails and girl-guiding challenge badges - there are lots of ways to engage with the Museum!

A typical day at Brooklands Museum begins with welcoming a school group at the Main Entrance and starting them on their day of adventure. We welcome many school children to the Museum, some who are very young and have never seen an aeroplane or a vintage car up-close or even ventured outside the classroom for a school trip. I work with a fantastic team of Volunteer Tour Guides, who guide school groups around the Museum. I also work with Volunteers who deliver Storytelling workshops and Object-handling sessions. The collection at Brooklands is a brilliant way to show students real-life examples of things they’re learning about in the classroom, for example, local history, scientific concepts such as forces and friction, and WW2.

Later that day, as the school groups are out enjoying the Museum, I will turn my attention to content creation and activity development. This is one of my favourite parts of being the Learning & Engagement Officer, as it allows me to be creative and think outside-the-box! During the days I am creating and developing content, my office desk is typically covered in coloured paper, craft materials, and models of potential activities. Oftentimes I will chat to my colleagues to refine the theme of the activity and make sure it links to both the story or collection of Brooklands, and the national school curriculum. I also consider the learning objectives of the activity. Sometimes I start with the purpose of the activity or the final product, then work my way backwards to find out how I can make it happen. Other times I just let the creativity flow and see where I end up!

Learning and Engagement involves a lot of collaboration with colleagues, partners, and Volunteers. It means continuously thinking about how to make the Museum engaging, fun, accessible and memorable for our visitors. It involves considering how the Museum’s engagement programme can stay up-to-date and relevant to audiences. It’s a busy job but extremely rewarding!