Friday, 17 August 2012

Volunteering Week 5!

The halfway point! It both seems like we've spent longer on this project and haven't been working on it that long. It's quite a strange feeling!

This week, we all took part in a Meet The Volunteer day at Thinktank Science Museum, which was really successful - there were far more people there than I ever expected, and it wasn't just children & parents. Some of the staff came to have a look, the children had their siblings, friends, parents, family, friends with them. One man appeared to be with his carer, and some people even came back for another quick look.

We had three stalls set up - one had a few taxidermy specimens and photos that Lukas had taken at the MCC. Another had a simplified 'tree of life' and some specimens - some fossils, some beetles in plastic cases, a frog in resin, some skulls and an alligators head. The third table was the colouring-in table, which was quite a hit! I had such a great day, talking to people about our work, what we are doing and why. The children who came were all excited at being able to touch the animals and the bones. Not many people realised or believed us when they were told that they were all real, and once were very much alive! Even the Goliath Bird Eating Spider got a lot of love. We had a lot of positive feedback during the day, and I'm glad that I was part of it.

From the Thinktank facebook page

On Thursday, Lukas and I continued with working through the boxes of bones. As we had started working on the Muntjac deer, we decided to finish it. It turned out we had 11 small boxes of bones - we actually ended up with 35 new items! It took us all morning to finish cataloguing it all.

Muntjac deer femurs. ~6 inches long!

Muntjac deer tarsals and carpals (feet and hand bones!) - there were 63, very small, bones all in one box. We gave the box one number because it would take too long/be a bit pointless giving each individual bone a number!

The computer software, MINISIS, showing how many items we had done after just 4 boxes.

This week was also our last week of working with Katie! She is on to pastures new, up in York. It has been brilliant to work with her - despite her knowledge base being social history, she has been pretty good at the natural sciences stuff!

This Sunday August 19th, the Museums Collection Centre (MCC) will be having an Open Day! If you are around, come down! You can walk around the storage facilities and see the object we have in the collections, as well as some of the items that were on display in the old museum but are now in storage. For the first time, the warehouse will be open, so you can walk around the part where I have been/am working! The walkway will take you around most of the warehouse, so you can see the birds, some of the taxidermy animals and some other objects we have up there. Come along! Entry is free, and there will be a falconry display too!