Julia Weakley ’21: The Franklin Institute

Name: Julia Weakley
Class Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
Hometown: Rye, N.Y.

Internship Organization: The Franklin Institute
Job Title: Professional Development Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

The Franklin Institute is a science museum in Philadelphia. At The Franklin Institute, I worked with the Professional Development team; they run professional development sessions for educators, administrators, and corporate groups to help advance their learning experiences in the sciences. I had the opportunity to sit in on a few of their programs, such as Master Educator and Understanding the Brain, and found them very interesting. Both programs focused on the brain and how we learn. The information presented made me think about the difference between how information was presented to me in elementary and highs school versus how it is presented to me now in college.
As an intern, I helped the Professional Development team in the organization and management of GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) Science in the Summer™ programming, Professional Development events, and Master Educator programming. I learned many skills involving the organization and management of data through the registration system for GSK Science in the Summer™.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to work at The Franklin Institute because I was interested in working at an institution that promotes STEM learning. As a STEM major, I appreciated The Franklin Institution for promoting science learning through interactive exhibits. I had visited the museum before my internship and loved the experience. When I saw the internship posting I felt I had to apply and be a part of such an institution. I am really happy that I had the opportunity to work at the Institute; I loved the experience.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of the internship was sitting in on the Understanding the Brain professional development session. In this session, there was a lot of information presented on the brain and how the brain learns. You learn best when a majority of the different parts of the brain are activated. It is a myth that you use only part of the brain. The truth is you use all parts, just not all at once. The session made me think about how I am learning, how I could incorporate my new knowledge about how the brain works into my study practices, and how I can engage all parts of the brain when I learn.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The most rewarding aspect of my internship was watching the program run, and watching the responses the team got from the audience and participants. One of my jobs was to collect data from the evaluations that participants filled out at the end of each session. I enjoyed reading comments about how the information they learned was beneficial, and that the presenter did a really good job, since I know the amount of work that went into preparing for each program.