Tag Archives: apprentices

The Challenge of Choosing Apprentices

Our high school apprenticeship program connects us to New Bedford juniors and seniors with college aspirations who want to learn more about themselves and their city. Many of these students will be the first ones in their families to go to college.  They are eager to work in an environment in which they are treated like young professionals, are given the opportunity to interact with a variety of educators and experts, and, of course, get paid.

Several weeks ago we began to advertise for new applicants. Notice of the program openings went to all three high schools in the City, to the Standard-Times, to WFHN and WBSM, to NB Public Access Cable and on our blog. Current and past apprentices also spread the word.  The response was very strong. Fifty seven applications were received by our deadline of September 25.  Of these 57, we will only be able to hire four new apprentices.  These new students will bring us to our full complement of twelve apprentices, seven of whom started in July.

This week, during the after school hours, we have been conducting interviews and will do so all week. After reading their answers to the questions on the application, checking their eligibility in relation to receiving free or reduced lunch and reviewing their transcripts, we opted to call 19 students to interview. We have been impressed with the students we have met, and have no doubt that we will be impressed with the students who will come in today and tomorrow after school.

It is no small task to choose four new apprentices from such a large pool of applicants.  These students have to be team players and continue the momentum we have built in the first 3 1/2 years of the program. They need to have the aptitude to grasp all that we ask them to learn. They must be willing to commit to the hours of the job. They need to convey a sense of initiative for their futures, and that they see our program as more than just a job.  We have met many students who can do all of the above. We are about to meet more in the next 30 hours. Yet, there will be four whose interviews, references, transcripts and ability to connect to our interviewers will help them rise above their peers.

This process reinforces the notion that there are countless students in New Bedford, and in the region, who don’t get noticed, or notoriety, simply because they are doing their homework, volunteering after school and on weekends and are staying out of trouble. These are the good kids, the students who deserve our appreciation for doing the ‘right thing’. We feel lucky to get the chance to meet some of them this week. We wish all of them well. We feel even luckier that four more of them will start work with us next week.

Pilot apprentices Spring / Summer 2010

Pilot apprentices Spring / Summer 2010



Apprentice Program Application Deadline is Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 26, is the final day for high school juniors and seniors to turn in applications for our High School Apprenticeship Program. Students in New Bedford High School, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford Global Learning Charter Public School and Fairhaven High that are receiving free or reduced lunch are eligible to apply. We may be hiring as many as eight new apprentices to join the team with our four returning apprentices. The program takes place Tuesday – Friday, from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm during the school year. The 2012-2013 apprentice program will begin on Tuesday, October 9.
Applications are available at all of the schools listed above, at our front desk and on our website www.whalingmuseum.org/learn/opportunities.  For more information call Science Director, Robert Rocha, (508) 717-6849 or email rrocha@whalingmuseum.org.

Fossils in the Museum – Science Tuesday

Looking for something fun and free to do with the kids tomorrow afternoon? Bring them to our Jacobs Family Gallery, Tuesday, August 7, from 1:00pm – 3:00pm to learn about Fossils. High School Apprentices, Amber Martin, Sharmaine Flint and Alfredo Parrilla have prepared a program that will explain how fossils are formed and give participants a chance to make their own ‘fossil’ to keep. Several fossils will be on exhibit. All are welcome. The program is free!

Science Tuesdays Start July 24

2011-2012 Apprentices

The Museum’s High School Apprentices returned for the Summer on July 9 and got to work immediately on creating and preparing for Science Tuesday programming. Working in teams of three, they chose the theme of their program, did the background research, created the displays and will lead the activities.

They invite you to join them from 1:00pm – 3:00pm in the Jacobs Family Gallery on July 24, July 31, August 7 and August 14 to learn about Mutations, Soil, Fossils and Sand. These programs are free with Museum admission and all involve activities that allow visitors to create a souvenir as a reminder of their participation.

Their blog entries/promo for their Science Tuesday activities can be found at Museum Greenhands.

2011-2012 Whaling Museum Apprentices

Back row: Carlos, John, Amber, Sharmaine, Gustin, Mark, Alfredo, Science Director Bob Rocha. Front row: Vanessa, Raven, Peightyn, Erica, Melanie

The Museum’s apprentices were formally welcomed on Tuesday, October 25 by Museum staff, Trustees and volunteers, apprentice family members, representatives of New Bedford Public Schools, City Councillor Steve Martins and Mayor Scott Lang.  Five of our apprentices, John Antunes, Melanie DeJesus, Peightyn Riley, Mark Ste. Rose and Carlos Velazquez are returning for their second year with us. They are working directly with Museum staff.  Our seven new apprentices, Vanessa Alves, Erica Andrade, Sharmaine Flint, Gustin Froias, Amber Martin, Raven Medeiros-Neves and Alfredo Parilla have started their training and behind-the-scenes immersion as to how our museum operates.

Nine of these students attend New Bedford High School; three of them attend Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. Our new apprentices were chosen from a pool of 52 applicants. We’re very happy to have them as part of our team.

Help Us Welcome Our Apprentices

New Bedford Whaling Museum welcomes new apprentices, Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m.

(NEW BEDFORD, Mass.)  —  The New Bedford Whaling Museum will introduce its new class of High School Apprentices during a brief ceremony on Tuesday, October 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery. The public is cordially invited to attend.

The twelve juniors and seniors attend high school in New Bedford and include seven new apprentices who were chosen from a pool of 52 applicants. Five returning apprentices will work directly with museum staff in a department of their choosing. All will be working after school, Tuesday through Friday until the end of May 2012 and will return in the summer for a six-hour workday. Museum president James Russell, museum vice president for education and programming, Jim Lopes, trustee and chair of the education committee, Dawn Blake-Souza, and Robert Rocha – who directs the apprentice program – will address the gathering. Apprentices will also introduce themselves to the audience during the event. Refreshments will be served.

Overseen by the museum’s education department, the apprentice program provides a unique opportunity for local youth to learn a variety of museum skills and expand their scholastic horizons. The program is funded through the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Howard Bayne Fund, the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, the United Way of Greater New Bedford, the City of New Bedford Community Development Block Grant Program, the Island Foundation, and the Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world’s most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales, whaling and the cultural history of the region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city’s historic downtown and is open daily. For a complete calendar of events, visit the Whaling Museum online at www.whalingmuseum.org.


For more information, contact:

Robert Rocha

Science Director

(508) 717-6849


NBWM Teen Apprentice Program

Recruiting for our teen apprentice program:

The New Bedford Whaling Museum Apprenticeship program offers an opportunity to high school students with an interest in a variety of topics, who excel academically and express interest in gaining work and college readiness experience, while earning a competitive wage. The Apprenticeship program will use museum resources as well as those of regional academic and scientific institutions to increase the knowledge base and practical experiences of high school students in New Bedford while enhancing their preparedness to continue their studies in these topics upon entering college. Full text of the descriptive letter can be found below.

NBWM Apprenticeship Letter Fall_2011

2011_2012 NBWM Apprentice Application

The program takes place during two sessions during the academic year and one summer session. The school year sessions will run from September – January and February – May. Students will work from 3:00 – 5:00 during these sessions, four days a week. The summer session will take place over eight weeks from July – August, with students working from 10:00 – 4:00.

Interested students should fill out an application form and return it, and a copy of the most recent report card, by Sept 21, to:
Robert Rocha, Science Director, New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740, or to the
Dean of Students / Co-op Coordinator / College and Career Advisor at your school

For further information contact Mr. Rocha, (508) 717-6849 or rrocha@whalingmuseum.org

Snakes: Science Tuesday Returns Tomorrow, August 9

Double Snake Crimper, made with whale ivory, baleen, tortoise shell and metal. 19th century. From NBWM Collections.

Looking for some free, fun activity for the family tomorrow?  Do your kids or grandkids enjoy being taught by older kids?  Want to learn about snakes and take home your own serpentine creation?

As part of our summer-long, free Science Tuesday programming, Whaling Museum Apprentices, Rico Hernandez and Peightyn Riley, will lead tomorrow’s activities. The theme will be snakes.  Kids can make their own spiral snake, shed their skin like a snake, and have their faces painted up like a snake. In case you were wondering, there won’t be any live snakes.

Activities take place between 1:00pm – 3:00pm in the Jacobs Family Gallery.  Please join us. For more information, call Bob Rocha, (508) 717-6849.

Science Tuesdays Begins Tomorrow: Oobleck and Silly Putty

The Whaling Museum’s Teen Apprentices have been tasked with creating science-focused activities to present to the public on Tuesday afternoons, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm during July and August. The specific topics are of their choosing. They have chosen some very interesting aspects of science to investigate and share with visitors to the Jacobs Family Gallery.

Joshua Vargas and Carlos Velazquez will start us of tomorrow with two odd mixtures – Oobleck (of Dr. Seuss fame) and Silly Putty. They and the other apprentices will guide visitors through the process of making these unusual fluid solids and will set up a demonstration of dancing Oobleck. Children will be able to make their own Oobleck and Silly Putty to bring home.

Join us after lunch for some fun with science.  Future topics include fossils, snakes, stars and supernovas, blindness and tornados. These program take place on Tuesdays through the end of August in the Jacobs Family Gallery and are free to the public.  For more information call (508) 997-0046 x149.

Welcoming New Teen Apprentices

The New Bedford Whaling Museum will introduce its new class of Teen Apprentices during a brief ceremony on Monday, October 18, at 4:30 pm, in the Jacobs Family Gallery. The public is cordially invited to attend.

These twelve juniors and seniors, who attend high school in New Bedford, were chosen from a pool of sixty applicants.  They will be working after school, Monday through Thursday through May and will return in the summer for a six hour work day. Mayor Scott W. Lang, Museum President James Russell, returning Apprentice Ryan Wotton, and Robert Rocha, who directs the apprentice program, will address the gathering.

Overseen by the Museum’s Education Department, the Teen Apprentice Program provides a unique opportunity for local youth to learn a variety of museum skills and expand their scholastic horizons. It is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement/Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO), the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Howard Bayne Fund, the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, the United Way of Greater New Bedford, the City of New Bedford Community Development Block Grant Program, and Bank of America.

For more information, contact: Robert Rocha, Science Programs Manager, Tel. (508) 717-6849. rrocha@whalingmuseum.org

The first crew of Apprentices, at their Museum commencement in May.

The Teen Apprentice Blog: Greenhands
Check out photos from the Youth Apprentice Program on the NBWM’s Flickr Page.