Indiana State University Newsroom

Summer fun: Student interns at children’s museum

August 23, 2013

Every day children fill the three stories of the Terre Haute Children's Museum with chatter and laughter as they learn about farm life, play in the two-story tree house and laugh as they stand in the midst of the large bubble ring.

For senior public relations major Casey May, participating in this fun came her summer job.

"I just love that I can be myself here," said May, a Terre Haute, Ind., native, who interned at the museum during the summer.

From being fingerprinted as a suspect during the CSI summer camp to dressing up as Princess Leia complete with hair buns and a toy gun, May enjoyed every opportunity to embrace the "little girl within" her.

"At any other internship I would have not be able to joke around, act crazy and dress up like Princess Leia, but it's so much fun," she said.

In addition to games and playing dress-up, May wrote media releases, worked as a summer camp counselor and practiced her marketing skills, which is her minor. She also planned several programs including Turtle Power Day, Soybean Sunday and a program for preschoolers called Tot Time. She credits her classes at Indiana State for giving her the skills needed for summer success.

"I think if I hadn't taken any of my communications classes whatsoever and just showed up at the museum, I would have been lost," said May, "so Indiana State has been great."

May said that she had a preconceived idea that internships at the museum were better geared towards education majors who will have careers working with children. However, she changed her mind as she quickly saw her PR knowledge become was important to her many duties this summer.

"There are a lot of different aspects to a museum that you wouldn't really think about until you intern here," she said.

May is grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at the children's museum saying it allowed her to see her own potential.

"This internship has made me get out of my shell and look outside the box," she said. "It surprised me a lot to see how much creativity I actually do have and that gave me a lot more confidence."

Lynne Hughes, executive director the Terre Haute Children's Museum, agreed that internships give students the chance to learn more about themselves and the community in which they live.

"Serving as a volunteer or intern in the community gives you chances to apply your education to real-world experiences, it gives you the opportunities to learn more about yourself and others, and it is truly rewarding," she said. "Whether your involvement in the community is big or small, you are helping someone and that is something to be proud of."

Although her internship has come to a close, May does not plan to end her relationship with the museum. As president of Alpha Chi Omega, she plans to encourage members of her sorority to participate in museum programs. Additionally, she hopes to be "the medium" through which all ISU students learn about museum events and volunteer opportunities.

Hughes appreciates Indiana State students like May who are willing to put time and effort into working at the museum.

"The Terre Haute Children's Museum has a small staff, so we are always looking for volunteers and interns to help us achieve our mission of enriching our children's lives through the exploration of science and technology," she said.

With a combination of increased confidence and a love for working with children, May feels as though she could "take on the museum world" and hopes to work in an environment similar to the Terre Haute Children's Museum following graduation.

"It's a really great place to work and it's a great place to hang out with your kids," she said.

Photos: May ISU Photo/Rachel Keyes May plays with visitors to the Terre Haute Children's Museum. ISU Photo/Rachel Keyes

Writer: Emily Sturgess, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or