Explainers at NYSCI

NYSCI Explainers talk shop, the art of explaining science, museum careers and professional know-how. Subscribe for tips, tricks, videos and fun things to do with science. Share your ideas too!
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Meet Jessica Castillo, senior explainer and creator of the original “We’re not tour guides” comic strips. Having been with the Hall since 2007, Jessica shares one of the many rewarding experiences she’s had at the museum.

MW: So what was one of the most memorable or exciting experiences you’ve had at the Hall of Science?

JC: Two years ago, we had this camp at the hall. It was called SciGirls Camp en Familia.  It was a special program developed by PBS in 2010 to encourage girls, especially those from a Hispanic background, to go into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields or STEM.

In the camp there were a lot of activities going on. There was even a camera crew from PBS filming. One of the things I had to do was perform the chemistry demo in Spanish.

MW: Wow, that can’t be easy!

JC: Yeah, it was like doing two things as once. I had the jitters. I felt like I was doing the demo for the first time. I mean, how do you say atoms and molecules in Spanish? After I explained the concept in English, I repeated it in Spanish to make sure everybody understands. 

MW: That is difficult. So, would you say it was a positive or negative experience?

JC: Well, personally, it was one of the best performances that I’ve ever put on. I finished the demo in 20 minutes even though I had to run through the explanation twice. I adjusted my way of speaking to make sure I’m not losing anybody.

MW: If you had to do it again, would you?

JC: I definitely would.

Sit in for one of Jessica’s engaging demos then check out the Explainers at NYSCI blog on Tumblr and see Jessica’s humorous cartoons for yourself!