Working in a Museum Education Department

Education Center March 5, 2024

We have written a few blogs in the past discussing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education and different programming at the Hill Aerospace Museum, as well as informal learning opportunities. Museums often teach through informal learning—an unstructured and spontaneous educational experience. However, we want to highlight our amazing education staff and what they do to support our education programs in a more formal learning environment!

What Does a Museum Educator Do?

The Hill Aerospace Museum offers a robust education program that aims at teaching STEAM education concepts and principles to children grades K-12. The program focuses on co-curricular subjects and activities relating directly to the State of Utah’s Science curriculum. Our education staff teaches students throughout the state the basics of flight, astronomy, weather, motion, gravity, forces of nature and many others concepts, all aligned with Utah’s core curriculum. Aligning with state curriculum guidelines allows our outreach team to supplement and expand upon lessons in the classroom to provide teachers unique and engaging content for their grade level.

To develop our lessons, our team looks at the different Utah core standards for different grade levels to determine how these requirements can fit the mission of the Museum. For example, one of our lessons, Electricity, meets the 4th Grade Utah SEEd Standard.

Observe how electrical energy is transferred from place to place with exciting demonstrations of static and current electricity! This lesson also discusses different types of electrical circuits and uses student participation to carry out experiments. Aligns with Utah SEEd Standard 4.2.3, 45-50 minutes.

Following Utah core curriculum is important for K-12 educational programming, but it also provides education opportunities for all ages, kids and adults alike. Elisabeth Cropper, our Associate Education Director, spoke to this point. “As the education team develops content, they try to filter their strategy through a few questions: What is the public interested in? What is cool and unique to us? Does this fit the mission of the Museum?” Elisabeth highlighted the education team integrates a lot of interpretation into their programs, “We try to bridge the gap between highly specialized information and what the public wants to see.”

Is It Fun To Work in a Museum?

Jocelyn St. Laurant, one of our Education Specialists, said she loves working at Hill Aerospace Museum because she can “share with the public my love of history and show the public that history is fun.” Jocelyn is often teaching during a field trip or out in a classroom on outreach getting kids excited and engaged in history.

Elisabeth loves finding a way to bring critical thinking skills into the STEM field. She says, “Museums can advocate for this and use this skill to communicate to the public. I love trying to get kids to use these critical thinking skills!”

Raelyn Embleton, Education Director, enjoys creating public programming and seeing it come to life. The Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt is a great example of the Museum’s unique public programming. Our education team developed a way to engage various age groups of kids with the collection. Turning the Easter Egg Hunt into a scavenger hunt to encourage kids to search for clues and key words is a great way to implement critical thinking skills tied in with our exhibits. Raelyn says, “it’s cool to know people look forward to this event every year!”

Jake Murray, Education Specialist, mentioned that museum field trips and outreach offerings add a valuable and non-traditional element to K-12 education, “We offer an opportunity to shake up the norm of classrooms.” Elisabeth added that non-traditional education or informal learning can allow kids to be genuinely curious and explore.

Elisabeth Cropper teaches chemistry for a 5th grade field trip.


Museum educators bring an awesome skillset into this field by offering a different perspective to traditional museum thinking. Creating digestible and accessible content is so important for our visitors. This is just one of the amazing jobs in the museum field!

Meet Our Education Team

Raelyn Embleton

Raelyn Embleton is the Education Director at Hill Aerospace Museum. She manages the education programs with her team, serving more than 15,000 students in the local area annually. Raelyn loves to connect with educational communities surrounding the Museum, serving the public to the best of her program’s ability. Raelyn brings knowledge from her years in K-12 public education, as well as formal history training, to her role. Her favorite plane in the collection is the U-2 Dragon Lady.

Jake Murray

Jake is an Education Specialist for the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah. He graduated in 2022 from Weber State University with his Bachelor’s in History. He has been in the education field for about three years and recently moved into the museum education field in 2022. While it is a jump from the history field, Jake has been teaching STEAM Education programs at the Museum since May 2022. He enjoys working to improve the bridge between the Hill Aerospace Museum and the Utah science education community.

Elisabeth Cropper

Elisabeth Cropper is the Associate Director of Education with the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah. She has worked at Hill Aerospace Museum since March of 2020 and in the public history field for more than 10 years. She started her career as a curator’s assistant in the Special Collections and Archives at Utah State University, then curated digital exhibitions and taught information literacy to university students. After finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in History with minors in Ancient Greek and Latin, she worked as the curator of a small city museum in Hyrum, Utah. During this time, she also completed a Master’s Degree in History from USU and taught concurrent enrollment history classes to students across the state. She remained the curator of the Hyrum City Museum for four years until joining the full-time staff at the Hill Aerospace Museum. Elisabeth loves working in museums because it provides a unique experience of collaboration, community connection and building valuable content for museum guests.

Jocelyn St. Laurent

Jocelyn St. Laurent is an Education Specialist with the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah. She has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in History and a background in hospitality, customer service and management. She began working at Hill Aerospace Museum in August 2023. Jocelyn enjoys engaging the minds of students in teaching the foundations of science and history within the surrounding communities. Her favorite plane in the Museum’s collection is the O-2 Skymaster.

Related Posts

Share this Article