Five Questions With . . . South Canterbury Museum educator Ruth Gardiner
What does your role involve?
My role involves working closely with schools, teachers and other community groups to plan and provide a wide range of interesting and meaningful local social history and science programmes to students of all ages.
We teach at museums in our district as well as at off-site venues such as the rocky shore, school camps, local marae and other sites of interest to school groups in our area.
What are some of the aspects you enjoy most about your job?
My job varies greatly and it is always interesting and challenging to make the learning experiences fun and exciting for students and teachers.
We like to have as many hands-on activities as possible so that students can really get a feel for what they are learning and take that experience back to home and school.
How busy are the school holidays at the museum?
The school holidays are always busy at the museum as we run holiday programmes linking to our current “Fishing the Bight” exhibition, as well other fun competitions and activities around the museum.
Our Explorers Club for children is very popular, too, as they gain stamps and collect badges for each visit to the museum.
How responsive are the children to the programmes you offer at the museum?
Children and adults alike enjoy learning about our local history and often comment that they are keen to go on and find out more about their own history as well as finding out more about our district.
We love to get feedback from the schools about how their inquiry topics progress after visiting us at the museum or at another site.
If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you would be doing instead?
If I wasn’t doing this job, I would probably be teaching in one of our local primary schools, where I was before I took on this role.