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Image from the planet Mars with what looks like a curled up tendril in the center
The planet Mars, observed September 3, 1877, at 11h. 55m. P.M. 1881

Apply for a Fall 2024 Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Internship with the Library of Congress!

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This post is by Stacie Moats of the Library of Congress.

Image of three women posing in front of a wall. Two are holding coffee and one is holding a computer,
Left to right: Celia Roskin (Fall ’20 TPS intern) with Carla Barefoot and Megh Cooper (Fall 2024 TPS interns). Photograph by Alli Hartley-Kong

What does a 1914 sound recording of the spiritual “Go Down, Moses” from the Library’s National Jukebox have in common with an 1877 print of the planet Mars from the Popular Graphic Arts collection? Both have been the focus of research for educational projects developed this past semester by the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) interns.

Spring 2024 TPS interns Carla Barefoot and Megh Cooper each pursued different research and career interests, while also supporting each other’s learning centered on the value of primary sources in education.

As the remote TPS intern, Carla investigated the Library’s music-related digital collections to create a teaching resource that explores music as a form of resistance through its evolution within African American communities. After working closely with Library staff and partnering with a TPS Consortium member, she says, “My TPS internship has transformed how I approach primary sources, education, and community engagement.” A graduating fourth-year student at the University of Virginia, majoring in Youth and Social Innovation, Carla adds, “I’m so grateful for the experience and know that the skills I’ve learned and connections I’ve made will aid me wherever I go next in my career!”

Meanwhile, Megh began her onsite TPS internship upon graduating from Maryland’s Washington College with a degree in Art History and an interest in educational outreach and public programming. She created and piloted a Primary Source Box that invites young Library visitors and their families to investigate how people in the past have imagined space and life on other planets. Her related teacher resource similarly offers extraterrestrial-themed activity ideas for students to engage with a map, a historic newspaper article, and a letter from the Library’s digital collections.

Primary Source box with the question, how did people in the past imagine outer space and life on other planets.
Primary Source Box created by Meghan Cooper

Like Carla, Megh is grateful to Library and TPS Consortium mentors who contributed to her research project and professional learning. “This internship has been an incredibly unique experience,” she explains, noting, “The opportunity to work with such wonderful colleagues to increase the accessibility of primary sources in education has been truly valuable.”

Do you know any current undergraduate/graduate students—or recent college graduates (within six months)—preparing for employment or further studies in education, library science, history or museum studies? Would they like to gain valuable, collaborative work experience by exploring educational resources, applying learning strategies, and connecting through partnerships? If so, please encourage them to apply for a Fall 2024 Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Internship with the Library of Congress! Applications will be accepted through May 17. Visit the Library’s website for details.

TPS internships are stipended opportunities designed for qualified individuals interested in working with and developing educational materials using the Library’s digitized primary sources for learners ages 9+, their families, and K-12 teachers. Successful candidates are likely to have academic, volunteer, or professional experience in related fields, and demonstrate a collaborative approach.

Whether remote or onsite, TPS interns will engage with Library staff, TPS Consortium members and the more than 15,000 educators belonging to the TPS Teachers Network. A key component of the TPS Internship Program is researching and sharing content about new discoveries and reflections, culminating in a special project. Additionally, the onsite TPS intern will support the Library’s in-person programming for young visitors ages 9+ and their families by developing an onsite component based on their research.

Both Carla and Megh strongly encourage others to apply to the TPS Internship Program. As one of their predecessors (Spring 2023) Elizabeth Dobrzynski explains, “Being a TPS intern at the Library of Congress felt like a dream come true and I never wanted to leave. I learned so much about myself, the workings of a library, and from the amazing people that work there! I cannot recommend this internship enough!”

Celia Roskin, whose past blog posts outlining ELAmath, and science activities resulted from her TPS internship research on the 1918 – 1919 Spanish Influenza Pandemic in relation to COVID-19, says, “This internship not only showed me the importance of effectively using primary sources in the classroom, but it helped solidify my future professional goals.” Echoing Elizabeth, she adds, “I can’t recommend this internship enough!”

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