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IWM Young Reporters Workshop

Following on from the podcast interview with IWM’s Young Reporters, we decided to offer them a series of workshops with the conservation and collections care staff at the museum. This was a unique chance to show 9 and 10 year olds around our studio, and then teach them some of the techniques and skills that we use in our day-to-day treatments. I found this a really exciting project to be involved in – although I often talk about my work I rarely get the opportunity to actually be involved with hands-on workshops, and I think what we do makes much more sense when you see it in action. Obviously we’d rather not encourage amateurs to attempt their own conservation, but I do think it could be valuable for children to see what our profession is and maybe consider it as a career for themselves, especially as the conservation workforce in the UK is rather homogeneous. The good thing for us was that this kind of workshop does not involve self-selected candidates coming of their own volition (i.e. those who already visit museums and might know about our work), but rather brings a whole class along (whether they like it or not!) who may never learn about our profession otherwise. Anyway, I wrote up my experiences of the workshops for IWM’s own blog, which can be found here: Young Reporters: Cleaning and Repairing First World War Posters
You can also find posts by my colleagues about the other workshops they ran, on objects conservation, bug hunting, and book binding. I think I can safely say we all found the experience rewarding, and many of the children professed an interest in becoming a conservator following the workshops. However I also suspect that the bug-hunting session may have been far and away the most popular of the classes…

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