Carnegie Museum of

Natural History Educational Materials

City Nature Challenge

Team

Melissa Cagan

(Supervisors: Mandi Lyon & Pat McShea)

Holy Vibrissae Batman!

Duration

6 Months

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Tools

 Microsoft Word, Camera, Adobe Lightroom

I was hired to work on an educational blog for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  The education department was preparing to implement a new program, at the time called Nature 360, designed to connect 8 to 13 year olds with nature, alongside their families and guardians.  The program was divided into two parts:  in-person workshops at the museum run by a lead museum educator and the online blog which lived on the museum's website but also included downloadable PDF flyers.  My role was to research and compose these blog posts which covered a variety of interesting topics, walking the fine line of appealing to children and adults (and teachers).  I was given design guidelines that had been created by graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University which served as our starting point.  As we became more comfortable with the blog formats, I was given room to make my own creative decisions regarding the PDF designs.  Myself and my supervisors focused on adding vibrant colors and images, more humor, and engaging activities that invited participation (such as "hidden item" style games but with frogs blending into their environments). 

Another exciting element of this experience was the opportunity to utilize my photography skills while creating educational materials.  I love exploring photography in my own time, but I always jump at the chance to integrate photography into my professional work.  Going out and taking photos in the field enabled me to experience and observe some of these animals/phenomena in action.  I enjoyed this part of the role so much, that when I wasn't at the museum, I was probably at a park or nature reserve with my camera, searching for new and interesting sights.  

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and am eager to explore how I can continue to use storytelling and imagery to add excitement to learning environments and materials.  Below you can see all of the blog posts and PDFs I created while at the museum.  You can click on the images to see them in full.

Final PDFs

Photos Taken for Museum Use

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