Jocelyn gives a talk on stage at a Museum of Science event.

Steps to Belonging: From Visitor to Educator

Just 10 minutes away from the Museum of Science in Boston is one of my most memorable places growing up, the city of Chelsea. Although a small city, it is packed with an abundance of people and places to experience. From a great view of the Boston skyline to the amazing food found on every corner, it has its perks. However, one of the best advantages of growing up in Chelsea was being just a short ride away from Boston, and specifically the Museum of Science. I can clearly recall the field trips that I had to the Museum. I got to experience “Night at the Museum” twice with their overnight program, and I would spend hours at Science in the Park with my family whenever we visited. One of my favorite parts of the Museum was getting to visit the chicks that were already, or soon to be, hatched. Having visited numerous times, I did not think it could get better.

Something important that I have learned throughout the past couple of months is how to make the Museum a place where everyone feels like they belong, no matter their background.

Fast forward some years later, with experience working in Education and having graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Biology, when looking for a job post-grad, I was primarily interested in finding a job in informal education, preferably in the STEM field. And, loving where I grew up and the experiences that I had, I immediately went to see if the Museum of Science in Boston was hiring. You can imagine my excitement when I found out about the FAO Schwarz Fellowship role at the Museum. The excitement did not just come from the fact of where I would be working, but also because of the mission behind both the Fellowship organization and the host organization. The Museum of Science’s mission “to inspire a lifelong love of science in everyone”, in unison with what the FAO Schwarz Fellowship and foundation stand for: social impact, leadership, and education. Both reinforced one of my values: education and science should be accessible to anyone and everyone. 

Taking on the role of the new FAO Schwarz Fellow at the Museum of Science caused that excitement to turn into joy. Since starting in June of 2023, I have been able to do what it is that I am passionate about, every day. I have collaborated with different departments throughout the Museum to better support our Summer Youth Interns. I got to plan and lead my first High School Science Series focused on Artificial Intelligence. I even got to work with ferrets to promote my first live animal presentation about “Why Do Animals Make Us Happy?” Being able to experience what it takes to put all these events and shows together is an inspiring opportunity. 

One of my favorite events that I found truly inspiring, from both a visitor and educator standpoint, was our Hispanic and Latinx Heritage weekend celebration in October, an event I heavily and proudly supported. From securing guest speakers to performance groups to creating a bilingual activity for the weekend, the hard work that was put into this event was noteworthy. To me, the most important part of this weekend was being able to see myself, my small city of Chelsea, and other people of Hispanic and Latinx heritage, belong at the Museum of Science through the celebration of our cultures. This has not always been the case, but I am glad it is now. This is only one of the various heritage weekend celebrations that the Museum has committed to furthering.

Something important that I have learned throughout the past couple of months is how to make the Museum a place where everyone feels like they belong, no matter their background. Thinking back to my time as a visitor, experiencing the joy of learning and seeing the live shows, there are some aspects that I would have appreciated having at the Museum, such as heritage weekend celebrations or bilingual exhibits. But now, as an educator at the Museum of Science, being able to contribute to that change, and to create a more inclusive and accessible Museum means a lot to me, and to all our visitors. I know that eight-year-old Jocelyn, eating her rock candy from the Museum gift shop, would be ecstatic to learn that life as a visitor at the Museum of Science can get better. Just ask those who work there.

Jocelyn Poste

Jocelyn Poste

Jocelyn (she/her) is the Youth Programs, Community Engagement Department FAO Schwarz Fellow at the Museum of Science in Boston.