Many of us staff here at the science centre were affected by the initial shutdown in March because of COVID-19, then happily, we were able to open again in July. We were all delighted to be back at work; greeting guests, seeing our Members come back with their families and welcoming back staff with open arms grateful to seeing each other. We were all getting our groove back with a new normal until we heard the news that we were closing to the public again.
With cases rising, the science center decided for the safety of their staff and guests to lead by example and close our doors to the public for three weeks. There were lots of questions about the staff and their well-being online, if jobs were going to be lost. The answer: no.
The floor staff that greeted and guided you through our Feature Exhibition: The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the Galaxy Gift Shop and in to the IMAX Theatre are all still here. We are still working, but we have been assigned to different departments within the science centre. We are learning new things about our building and our community in the process. It is a growing experience for some, but for others-it is like seeing an old friend again.
Like me for instance; my name is Melanie, and I am a Guest Services Representative and for a few weeks, I am here now writing to all of you. Also, I am taking photographs of the staff and product photographs for the online Galaxy Gift Shop. When I am not doing photography, I am assisting with online pickups at the Galaxy Gift Shop, it is a good way to get steps in, if you are counting.
Kathy works in the IMAX Theater, but since the closure rather than washing the 3D glasses, she has been assisting the Education Department in their reorganization for the educational programs that we provide. There is a lot of preparation that needs to be done for a classroom whether it is for a virtual class or hopefully soon, when schools are once again onsite.
Chelsea and Shreya worked in the Purple Pear Restaurant, side by side until we had to shut down. Shreya is the Assistant Manager. Now Shreya has been working with the Fund Development team doing data entry for the Be a Star program. She will also be calling donors to thank them for their donations. Chelsea is the Guest Experience Lead, ensuring guests received their meals and have an enjoyable experience while dining in the Purple Pear. She is now working with our IT department assisting with the install of the new digital monitors in our new Box Office. As you can see-even when we have closed to the public, there is still much going on inside.
Hems is a Science Interpreter that worked in The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Currently since we have shut our doors to the public, Hems has been working with Matthew, our Lead Science Interpreter on our virtual birthday parties.
Abi and Addison are both Science Presenters who worked in The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Exhibition, and are now currently in The Nature Exchange. Both work the Digital Trading Desk and taking care for the animals in The Nature Exchange. While they share work, they also have their own projects that they oversee. Addison is currently conducting environmental scans related to virtual programming for children. Abi is working on some animal enrichment planning.
We also have Maia who is a Science Interpreter as well (not pictured here). When she is not in The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! assisting everyone on the fun things that are in the exhibition, she has been doing assisting in the program building of Astrotots with Sam in CuriousCITY. Bringing the adventure of space into the comfort of people’s homes.
Dayna (not pictured here) is the House Manager who has been back since we reopened. She is in charge of the floor to make sure that things are going smoothly with the day-to-day operations inside the building. Since the closure, Dayna has been helping with digital content for the online gift store and helping in the Finance Department.
So, we have still been working hard since the building closed for public admission, just in different departments working on projects that needed attention and expansion. We miss our guests, but we know what when COVID-19 is over, we will see our Members, guests and greet new guests with open arms and with smiles that you will see-rather than behind the masks that we wear now.
Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask.
Happy Holidays to you and your families