I am so excited to announce the new slate of day-long programs we will run this January 22-25, for high school youth. Each is designed using various digital tools to explore different museum halls. Each is also designed to help us learn more about inter-departmental collaboration and the educational affordances of digital media. Registration information and more details can be found here.
In Follow Me: Hall of Pacific Peoples (an AMNH Youth Audio Guide Program), youth participants will prototype the development of a hall-based audio guide as science journalists. Working with a wide-range of museum staff experienced in both audio production and museum content, youth will learn about the Hall of Pacific People, use anthropological tools to conduct interviews with museum staff highlighting their unique perspectives on the exhibits, and use the social media app Audioboo to process and share their guides. This hall is important historically because of Margaret Mead and has become a recent draw for young visitors due to the popularity of the film character Dum Dum. By the end of the day, youth will have produced dozens of brief sound clips that will be aggregated into a prototype of an audio tour, modelling how youth and digital media can bring relevance to a permanent AMNH exhibit.
In Virtual Wonder Cabinets, youth participants will design their own virtual museum exhibit. With a special focus on the Hall of African Mammals (and including the other halls featuring nature dioramas), youth will come to understand and appreciate the history, purposes, and wonder of a natural history diorama, learn how to arrange museum content into a compelling scientific narrative for public education, and present their work through an online multi-media presentation. This program aims to combine the power of objects and the importance of science with an inherent sense of wonder.
In Morpholution, youth participants will be introduced to the methodology used by evolutionary scientists in Morphobank, a web application for conducting phylogenetics or cladistics research on morphology. Youth will explore how the tool is used by scientists to document and communicate evolutionary data and will generate evolutionary trees based on their own data collected throughout the day.
In FoodCraft, youth participants will explore the science and politics of food through playing the video game, Minecraft (no previous experience required), and the new AMNH exhibit Our Global Kitchen. More specifically, challenges to food production, preparation, trade, and transportation will be encountered in historical and present day simulations, such as a pre-Columbian Aztec marketplace, illustrating the vital and complex role that food plays in our lives.
Please help us spread the word. And you can rest assured we will be posting updates from the programs here.