Whitaker Martin

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