A Postcard From: Tenney Sprague ’17

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Name: Tenney Sprague

Year: 2017

Major: Creative Writing

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

When I first applied for an internship in the Gender, Adult Learning and Community Engagement Department at The Franklin Institute, I didn’t think that I’d even get to the interview stage. Sure, I had worked and taught a couple of classes in a museum before, but what would The Franklin Institute want with a Creative Writing major with little to no background in higher level science? Luckily, I got that interview and soon started as an intern at the museum.

From my first day I quickly saw and learned what a warm and fascinating workplace The Franklin Institute is. My coworkers come from all sorts of truly amazing backgrounds and educations (anthropologists, physicists, retired surgeons, marine biologists, etc), and when I see them in the halls, they are always working on new, interesting projects for the museum’s many programs and visitors. There is an energy and love of sharing knowledge that makes The Franklin Institute unique, and I wanted to learn from it and to contribute to the museum in any way I could.

Climbable Neural Pathways in the “Your Brain” Exhibit!

Climbable Neural Pathways in the “Your Brain” Exhibit!

While I have been kept busy with many compelling projects here at The Franklin Institute, my department has also allowed me to explore more areas of research and education that I am interested in. The “Your Brain” exhibit in the museum has sparked the development of Brain-Based Learning sessions, where educators in the surrounding districts can learn about the new research coming out about how the brain works and strategies for effective learning. These sessions in particular have captivated my interest, and along with my other projects, I have been trying to create a curriculum for understanding the dyslexic, or SLD, brain and helpful teaching/learning styles for the teachers that come to our Brain Professional Development sessions.

I already love that I am able to be a part of this incredible institution, but now I feel like they have given me the opportunity to play a more active role in giving back to the community and its education. I don’t think I could have gotten the experiences I’ve had at anywhere but The Franklin Institute, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of my summer at the museum will take me!

Books! Books! Books! All of these amazing books in the Franklin Institute stacks!

Books! Books! Books! All of these amazing books in the Franklin Institute stacks!

Why I applied for my internship:

My interests have always been all over the place (creative writing, animation, baking, teaching, tutoring kids with learning disabilities, advertising, finance, film), and I always have had difficulty picking one of those interests to focus finding an internship or job in. But since my internship last summer at the Children’s Museum of Richmond, I have noticed that more often than not I’m gravitating towards educational based opportunities.  I made my own lesson plans and taught children about Maori culture and folklore at the Children’s Museum, but I realized that while I loved teaching and the lesson plans, I wanted to see if I could affect children and their learning in an overall and behind-the-scenes sort of way. I wanted to be a part of the strive for more enjoyable and effective education in our school systems. Wondering how on earth I could find an opportunity like that, I stumbled upon the Science Education internship at The Franklin Institute on LILAC’s LanternLink.