The second week of the Augmented Activity Guide Program flew by in a blur as the GK Leaders worked hard to develop and design their activity pages. Early in the week they had the opportunity to meet, via Skype, Nadine Kocanjer, Manager of the Wilderness Explorer program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to learn about how activities in family activity guides are designed. Here two of the teens show off their own ideas and get feedback from Nadine.
A second Skype highlight of the week was getting to meet, Nika Collison, Museum Curator at the Haida Gwaii Museum and collaborator on writing the story within our guide. Here two more teens practice presenting their activity pages and get valuable feedback from Nika.
Before we knew it, Friday, August 15th had arrived and the youth were taking the stage to present the first prototype of the Augmented Family Activity Guide.
Next, the six pairs of youth leaders from Global Kids took turns reading each chapter of the prototype out loud to the audience before walking everyone through the activities they had designed. Activities designed by the youth ranged from coloring and drawing, to connect-the-dots and word searches.
Fun facts at the end of each chapter, selected by the youth, and a result of their independent research, provide additional information about the cultural treasures included in the guide and highlight some of the objects’ contemporary uses.
After presenting all of their hard work the MCs of the event transitioned to a Q&A session with the audience:
The GK leaders then headed to the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians to show off their hard work to their captivated audience who had copies of the family activity guide prototype and color pencils in hand.
We asked the youth to reflect on their experience in the program and they described it as “informative” and “educational” as well as “interactive” and “fun.” They were amazed at how much they had learned in two weeks about a culture they “didn’t even know existed” when the program began.
Youth also expressed pride knowing that their ideas will enhance the experience of young visitors acknowledging that “my ideas came to life” and “[museum staff] wouldn’t have the right outlook on it; it would be an adult point of view. …We have younger siblings so we know what they like.” They also described feeling very inspired “to be a part of something, because some people never get to do this once in a lifetime opportunity” and “very happy that I have the opportunity to design the activity guide pages. I am looking forward to seeing my work being displayed in the museum.”
When asked what they would remember 5 years from now about the program youth said:
- “I will remember something on paper coming to life. I will also remember the crests used by the Haida.”
- “I gained experience as an anthropologist.”
- “I have learned many new things, but the thing that stands out to me as really interesting is the Haida crests. The reason why is because the Haida people put so much importance to the crests I want to know what other crests they have have and what do they represent and the story behind them.”
- “It’s been cool to learn more about different ways of life and cultures. It seems to me as if there can be hundreds perhaps thousands of Totem Pole designs that can be original and unique. What attracts me most are they are a rare and physical beauty to “get lost in.” What I mean by that is, looking at the unique beauty of one of these Totem Poles can attract you for almost as long as it wants.”
- “Five years from now I’ll remember being with my friends and having fun.”