Category Archives: Projects

My Experience As A Whaling Museum Apprentice

When I first got ready to join the New Bedford Whaling Museum Apprenticeship program, I expected to learn about whales. I didn’t expect the depths in which I’d learn, not only about whaling but about  life. I didn’t expect to gain so many impeccable skills for the workplace, and I especially didn’t expect the friendships and connections I would create along the way.

In the apprenticeship program, we are encouraged to come up with ideas and innovative ways to solve problems. During events, we are given responsibility and independence while working with children, creating innovative crafts to teach and inspire. We have played interactive games with students, making crafts such as soap-based scrimshaw and Sailor’s Valentines shell art. We’ve learned valuable marketing and public speaking skills while raising money for the Whaling Museum’s Over The Top event. During the Cape Verdean Parade, we worked together making decorations to celebrate the rich, vibrant culture.  As an Apprentice, I have spent hours walking through the museum, becoming almost an expert in all things related to the whaling industry. I find that the background knowledge I’ve picked up, occasionally helps in my classes and in everyday life.  My fellow apprentice Josie and I gave two tours last month. It was exhilarating to actually lead our own tour and share with the public all of the fascinating information we’ve studied .

I am so very thankful for this apprenticeship. I constantly find myself faced with opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise. I can speak for myself and everyone of my apprentice-peers when I saw that The Whaling Museum apprenticeship program is a fantastic resource for teens to learn and grow.

It's me doing a little calligraphy practice on Presidents' Day. Adding this activity to the slate of crafts was my idea.

It’s me doing a little calligraphy practice on Presidents’ Day. Adding this activity to the slate of crafts was my idea.

Daizha’s first blog! :)

Hello everyone! I’m really excited to be back from our February break. It’s really great to see everyone and I’m  ready to jump right back into things! My favorite  thing that we’ve done so far is the New Year’s Eve event and the Presidents’ Day event. Presidents’ day was especially fun because I got work with all the kids, which I absolutely  loved. Seeing the people dressed up as the Presidents was also a treat. I already can’t wait to work the next event.

Presidents' Day, going back into the Resource Center for more craft supplies.

Presidents’ Day, going back into the Resource Center for more craft supplies.

Wrapping Up a Busy Year

This is me (Vanessa) on the left asking a question to Dr. Michael Moore of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Erica, Amber and Sharmaine listen in. That’s a porpoise skeleton on the table.

Lately we’ve been seeing plenty of cool sites, like the Franklin Zoo, and the Drinking Water and Wastewater plants~! My favorite event was the Over the Top fundraiser because I got to meet a bunch of wealthy and interesting individuals!

By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to Utah to start college at the LDS Business School in Salt Lake City. This has been a very educational and interesting year.

Science Tuesday

Me (Erica) with John Antunes, at Right Whale Day. He and Vanessa were my project partners for Science Tuesday.

Our Science Tuesday was on July 31. John, Vanessa and I did our topic on soil. The activities we had was planting seeds in soil, doing soil art on construction paper and putting soil layers in order. We had soil samples, a display and posters to give away.

It was a very slow day. It would have been busier if it was gray or rainy outside. There were about 10 people that came. Some were wondering what our activity had to do with whales. We explained that the connections included runoff from contaminated soil having bad effects on the food chain in the ocean and that whale skeletons are sometimes buried to clean them up for display.

Teen Apprenticeship

Alfredo Parrilla and me (Gustin) at our Propeller Strike station at Right Whale Day, April 16, 2012)

As teen apprentices we do various tasks around the museum and have learned a variety of useful skills. We can do things such as leading a tour, setting up for events, and basic museum care taking have become common tasks for us to accomplish.

But what do other teen apprentices at other places do?  As Whaling Museum teen apprentices we learn what other teen apprentices from other places do.  These places include the Woods Hole Aquarium, the Franklin Park Zoo, and the Boston Science Museum.  As a part of a mutual exchange, their teen apprentices come here for a day and we give them a tour and show them around the museum.  In return they show us around and give us a tour of their work place.  Its a great way to get to meet other teen apprentices and learn about their work.  I can’t wait to meet the teen apprentices from Woods Hole, they should be arriving any minute!

The Dirt About Soil

The soil beneath our feet helps to shape where we live and what we eat. Learn about the layers in the soil and plant a seed to bring home.

Our apprentice team of Erica, John and Vanessa would like to invite you to our Science Tuesday Activity on July 31, from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, in the Museum’s Jacobs Family Gallery. It’s going to be a very fun and interesting activity. Our topic is soil. It’s very important to know how different soil types influence what can grow in a certain region, how fast plants develop and how likely that area is to flood.

We will have several different types of soil for you to see and handle. You can investigate the layers within a soil sample. We’ll challenge you to match a seed to the proper type of soil. After all the activity the kids can take the seeds they planted home to watch them grow. Expect to get your hands dirty. Please take a break from the hot sun and join us for some fun.
Activities are free with Museum admission.

Summer Semester is on!

Parade in Angra de Heroismo. Photo from Museum collections.

The summer semester has begun officially. Before the semester the apprentices and I were all involved in the Cape Verde Recognition Day parade, we also worked during Summerfest. Mel and I had gallery duty during the Day of Portugal Parade. On that day it started raining and we were lucky enough to stay inside. Summerfest was a pretty busy day. I worked the first shift, which it wasn’t all that busy at first but as it got closer to noon it started to pick up. It was very hot during the Cape Verde Parade, but we had water to drink, so it wasn’t so bad.

Now that the semester has started up, we the apprentices are now going to be doing an activity on Tuesdays called Science Tuesdays. The first Science Tuesday will be the 7/24/2012. My group is up first which consists of me, Gustin and Peightyn. Our Science Tuesday activity will be on mutations in animals and humans and how they are created. Aside from the Science Tuesdays, we also have trips planned to go to other museums and places which are going to be fun. I’m looking forward to this summer and all the fun that comes with it.

Signing off for now,
Carlos Velazquez

The Summerfest

Parade in Progress, on William St, near the current Carter’s store, which is visible on the right. Museum accessioned photo.

Hello everyone, its nice to be back at the apprentice program after six weeks of vacation. The plan for this summer looks awesome with all the places we are going, and the people that are coming to visit us. Work in the Summerfest was very interesting. Helping people with information about the museum and answering questions about the galleries kept me occupied most of the day.  I am always happy helping people. That was a good day at the museum.

I am also proud of myself for being hired to work in the summer with the facilities of the Whaling Museum. I already had two weeks working with them and it is amazing how we always have something to do. The good thing is that we all do our work with smiles on our faces.

Summer Semester let’s go!

Could this be a scene of apprentices of years past preparing for public programming? (Morse Twist Drill Museum Photo Collection 1990.41.123)

Yesterday the other apprentices and I started our summer semester which goes from now until the end of August. As our first project we are creating a presentation for “Science Tuesdays” which is aimed at families that come to the Museum, especially with children in grades 2-4.  My teammates and I decided to do our project on mutations and we have two weeks to complete our project.  I’m excited to start doing projects again and can’t wait to actually get into the projects. I have high hopes for the summer and my apprenticeship ere at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and I doubt I’ll get disappointed, but only time will tell!!!

Beach Clean Up

Fishermen’s shacks around cove of New Bedford, in foreground two young children play in a dinghy full of water on the shore. NBWM Collection. 2006.36.60

One of my more recent experiences here at the New Bedford Whaling Museum was doing a beach cleanup through a scientific point of view.  We started this project on May 1, 2012 and began by going to New Bedford West Beach and cleaning  up some of the litter that resides on the beach.  This marine debris project was scientific as we recorded every peice of trash that my team and I  collected before we placed the trash in a bag.  After we were done collecting trash and recording our data, my team and I then made a bar graph to display the information we recorded on marine debris.