Eden Project – checkpoint (2 weeks in)

It is the 28th of July, 2016 and it has now been two weeks since I started my internship at the Eden Project. At the start of my first week I had a plan about working on the Nuclear and Geothermal research for the Masterfile and also to keep researching new and emerging technologies’ on the side.

Between the 12th of July and now a lot has happened. At the start of the second week I spent two days on the ‘Welcome week’ meant for new volunteers and employees. This was very useful as it gave me more information the amazing stories behind how Eden came to exist, about what Eden was trying to do as an educational charity and how they were going about doing this. This also helped me to become more familiar with the site and the different people that work in different departments around Eden. I was also very fortunate to be able to sit in on a meeting with Jo Elworthy, the Head of Interpretations and Augusta Grand, Eden’s Head of Policy, while they were discussing Eden’s proposed geothermal plant. This was also very insightful as me and a fellow intern, Emma, who was also at the meeting are supposed to be working on Eden’s geothermal story.

With regards to my research and my work on the Masterfile I have now completed the first draft of the Nuclear story and have worked on summarizing the information into a possible story-line for the exhibit. I separated my research into nuclear into the following sections: History of Nuclear, Nuclear power production process (Fission and Fusion), Challenges with Nuclear Power and Solutions to Nuclear Power. In the midst of these sections I included current worldwide data of energy productions, and other nuclear statistics predominantly from the International Atomic Agent’s website and reports. The story-line is the information that will be on the information boards and leaflets and whose goal is to make the general public interested in the topic and its issues. For my story-line of Nuclear Power, I decided to add a section on popular myths and misconceptions to dispel popular myths about nuclear power production and radioactivity in general. I then sent my draft to Jo for feedback.

I have since decided to take a break from Nuclear and work on the geothermal story especially since Jo, told us that this story will be of more importance to Eden. This is because of the fact that Eden is planning on building the UK’s first deep geothermal plant, and would like to inform the public about the geothermal story and get them interested in what Eden is trying to do and how it would potentially benefit them. The research for the geothermal story will be done by both me and Emma. I will gather research on the more technical aspects and the general background to geothermal power production, whereas she will be working on Eden’s link to geothermal energy and the story from their point of view. Essentially my part of the research will follow the same skeleton as the research I undertook for nuclear power. I have since completed the ‘History’ and ‘Geothermal power production’ sections and am now working on summarizing the pros and cons of using geothermal energy as a means to generate electricity.

Over the past two weeks I have learnt a tremendous amount. I ran into several problems, mainly with directing my research. I realized after speaking to my supervisor after a few days since I started on my nuclear research that I was going into detail in places that were not required. I have since learned the kind of material I should be looking towards by walking around site, looking at the kind of information they have on their current exhibits and speaking to my supervisors and other interns. Now, having started on geothermal energy, the research is going more smoothly as I now know what kind of information I should look for. The other problem I encountered was creating a story-line. This involves having to summarise all the research in a topic into easy to understand terms, to make it interesting and attention grabbing. I struggled with simplifying the nuclear research into something anyone would understand but in the end I just kept at it, and tried using my 15 year old sister to tell me if anything was too complicated. I have also started making daily targets that I ensure are complete before I leave for the day.

Finally, working in the office amongst all the other employees and seeing their interactions with each other has given me a very deep insight into how the work environment at a charity is. Everyone is enthusiastic about their job and cooperate with everyone else in the team to get the work done. Small things stood out to me such as the fact that whenever someone went to make tea, they asked everyone if they wanted one too. I got a chance to see this teamwork and enthusiasm to a great extent as this past week was the week where Eden was setting up their Dinosaurs exhibit. The compilation of months of research was being put onto an exhibit and all in one week. It was very inspiring to see how everyone in the office left on the last day to help out on site, with the setting up of the exhibit. It gives you a feeling of everyone enjoying their work and wanting to make it a success.

For the remaining weeks, I will finish up the Nuclear story and my part of the Geothermal story and hopefully finalise the whole story together with Emma, the other intern. I also, hope to actually start some research on new and emerging technologies. I have not yet had time to research this section even though it is of interest to me due to a lack of time especially since spent time going into too much detail at certain points.

To finish, here are some pictures of the beautiful Eden project that Emma and I took over the past two weeks, including the new dinosaur exhibit!

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