What would you tell us about you – introduce yourself.
My name is Whitaker Martin, and I'm currently a resident in El Cerrito, California. Prior to that, I was a student at the University of Michigan, where I majored in film studies and played trombone in the Michigan Marching Band. About two months after I graduated, I moved to California to volunteer for the Exploratorium Science Center's video department. Almost five months later, I was offered a job as a Field Trip Explainer in the museum. I would welcome school groups to the Exploratorium, and give them an introduction to the museum. I would also help visitors with exhibits as well as leading a variety of scientific demonstrations throughout the morning. It was when I held this position when I first heard about the English-speaking explainer position at Techmania.
Why did you decide to cooperate with Techmania in Pilsen? And how did you meet us?
I first heard about the position in early 2011 from my program supervisor at the Exploratorium. I found the job to be intriguing, and I thought, given the skills I had learned at the Exploratorium, I was qualified to do it. I spoke with Tomas Moravec of Techmania, and at that point, decided to pursue the position.
You will actually present the TSC offers´ in English. What would you point out as the biggest benefit for Czech teachers and students or other visitors? Do you think that this way can bring them any bonus?
When I was at the Exploratorium, I worked with students who were 6 to 17 years old. I was able to cater any explanation of an exhibit or demonstration to any age group. Since I've done this from November, 2010, I'm familiar with the technical terminology behind a variety of exhibits. I also know how to make any visitor familiar with the science as well. I also believe in letting visitors explore the exhibits independently, so they can come up with their own hypotheses and conclusions. I believe these skills will be helpful at Techmania. I am very good at doing explanations and presentations in English.
How much is, in our point of view, important the knowledge of English among the students?
I believe part the importance of someone learning English is if they plan to teach, learn, or work in a country where English is the primary language. The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are a few examples. But beyond that, English is the primary language used within the world of science. Therefore, I would find it important that any student who wishes to pursue a career in the sciences should familiarize themselves with the English terminology that is used.
Home science center: Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception
In Techmania from March to August 2012