The intentionality of programs at a Museum have two main goals, to educate and inspire. My favorite challenge is to have both simultaneously, engaging the audience of all ages to learn and enjoy the process. Through art classes, puppet shows, Lego and Meccano, music, storytelling, school visits and so much more, our guests have had many opportunities to experience our lively Museum over this past month. We also installed our second Museum @ Play exhibit – Lego Love. All of these programs can present an opportunity to learn, you just have to know what questions to ask and how to make connections to other experiences. A big thank you to local Lego and Meccano collector Hubert Hogle, artists from Glocca Morra Farms, Rag and Bone Theater, and Beyond Classrooms Kingston – to name a few – for visiting our Museum this month to make learning fun!
Last week, three local grade 6/7 classes participated in a program that I developed and delivered in partnership with our Archivist, Lisa. My intention was simple: to inspire senior students to see history in a new way, and leave the Museum and Archives with more questions and excitement then they came with. That is exactly what happened! Students observed artifacts within the Museum in an entirely different way and sat in the Archives searching family files, looking through microfilm, making connections and wanting to know more. More about their families, where they came from, how they lived and how they each came to be here today. Completely astounded, not by the chaos of 80 students wanting to ask questions and find answers though, I took a moment to look around and was engulfed by their pure excitement to learn. History is not brought to life in a textbook, the stories and details are recorded in them are important, but the true connections to history are found within the links to your own life. Students were fully engaged and did not want to be pulled away from research, not video games or devices, 200 year-old books and records! It is possible! History is not boring, it is who we are, and the way we can change the mindset is by teaching them to think about the events in history as their own stories not about something they cannot connect to. Students were learning valuable lessons about primary research, what life was like for the people before us, and figuring out how to make the connections to their own life. Success. One of the teachers emailed me at the end of the school day thanking me, and letting me know that the rest of their day was pushed aside because the kids just wanted to learn more…about History! These students will be using their research to complete a creative project to represent their history that will be presented at the Museum during Archives Week on April 3rd. We are inviting the public to join us and relish in their excitement, I am sure they would love to share with you “The History We Wrote”.
The next few weeks at the Museum patrons will be able to join us for a free Museum Kids Woven basket program (please visit our website for a new pre-registration initiative for this program), a Spring Wreath Making Workshop, Tuesday Night at the Museum musical performance from Steve Medd and our LIVE performer Alex Leggett. For more information on upcoming programs and events, please visit our website www.CountyMuseum.ca or follow us on Facebook @CountyMuseum.
Thank you for making history with us!