Portrait of Ruth


"It's really satisfying when you see photographs you've taken appearing in museum displays or even in books"

Like James, Ruth started working at the museum on a summer placement. At the time, she was studying sciences at Cambridge University. She's been working here full-time since graduating, and is now a Project Technician.

For me, the best thing about working in a small museum like the Whipple is the wide variety of things I get to do.

One part of my job is outreach work, which is where museums take their activities out into the community, hopefully to reach people that wouldn't otherwise have come in to the museum. Recently we did an activity day for families and children. I dressed up like a Victorian lady to demonstrate Victorian scientific toys - it was great fun!

I'm also involved with education at the museum. This doesn't mean that I teach classes like in a school. Instead, I design activities to encourage visitors to interact with the collections and to leave the museum inspired by what they've seen.

Recently I created a 'handling trolley' of hands-on activities so that children can explore different scientific instruments that we have here. It's great to be able to work with museum visitors although it can sometimes be quite exhausting! During the Cambridge Science Festival over 400 people came and used the handling activities in one day.

The best part of my job is that it's really creative. At the moment, I'm writing an article about the museum's teaching models for our new website. I also help to put together the displays in the museum galleries, including writing the labels that explain about the instruments.

I've really improved my skills in photography during my time at the museum. We do all of our photography in-house, using both 35mm film and digital cameras. It's really satisfying when you see photographs you've taken appearing in museum displays or even in books.

Activity links: Ruth knew lots about the eye, atom and gravity models, the telescope and the cyclotron dee on the phone. Her face is used in the activity - can you work out where?

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