Ruth McLeod ’19: Youth Engineering and Science

Name: Ruth McLeod
Class Year: 2019
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Boston, Mass.

Internship Organization: Youth Engineering and Science
Job Title: Assistant to the Director
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

There is a lot that is going on. I get to work at 7 a.m., get breakfast ready and let the interns and teachers in the building. At 8 a.m. we have our morning meeting where we discuss what worked, what did not, the highlights, and things we learnt the day before. We also give out a Hot Shot award to someone that really impressed us and a Flexy award to someone who was flexible or willing to go above and beyond.

After the morning meeting we break up into the teaching teams. I supervise members from the team that are a part of the lunch crew and help the prepare their materials for the day. By 9 a.m. most teams are out to the recreational centers teaching their lessons. I stay at base camp and prep the materials that the teams will be using in the next day’s lesson. I also do a daily inventory for the director so that we know if we need more food or materials and we don’t run out.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I wanted a behind-the-scenes perspective on what goes into creating, executing and teaching lessons. Since I want to be a high school math teacher, I think it is important to know what I will have to do in the future and start developing the skills needed to perform those tasks.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

Yes. I found this internship through my math professor, Victor Donnay who is a part of the Noyce Scholarship Program, which helped funded the organization that I interned with. My position was unique because it was only created because the director’s husband was not available for the entire summer and they needed someone to fill his role.

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

I have learned how to be a part of a team even if I am not on the frontline. At first it was OK being behind the scenes but as the teams got to experience what it was like to teach the lessons it became harder. As someone who loves to teach and wants to teach, I was incredibly jealous of some of the other interns. I realized later that it might have been a blessing in disguise because teaching is not easy and is very stressful. I came to accept that although I did not teach this summer, I learned a lot about teaching.