Year 8 students from Waltham Abbey’s King Harold Business & Enterprise Academy, took over Epping Forest District Museum for a day as part of the Kids in Museums initiative.
They put together activities and a trail for visitors, managed the museum’s social media accounts and were interviewed for BBC Radio.
Running the museum
The 10 pupils had worked with museum staff on a series of workshops and preparation days, to learn more about the day-to-day running of the museum. They also had a behind the scenes tour, handled objects from the collections and created posters and content for their tours.
Climate change theme
They themed their day around climate change, linking it to the current Ice Age exhibition at the museum. This period was a natural form of climate change, compared to now which is more manmade through global warming.
One gallery was declared a ‘no go zone’ to represent how, through climate change, parts of the world will disappear and be submerged in the oceans. Another gallery was filled with a week’s rubbish to show how much waste each household generates and to encourage visitors to recycle as much as they can.
One activity was to make little trees from cork, a cocktail stick, beads and ripped paper. Each tree represented a real endangered tree and was given a label with details of where the tree currently survives and why it is under threat of extinction. This small forest will be on display at the museum until the beginning of December.
A fantastic time
Mrs Dent, history teacher at King Harold Academy, was with the students through their whole takeover journey and said: “The students had a lovely time meeting the public and sharing their concerns about climate change. A usually quite reserved group of students were really supported to come out of their shells by the brilliant staff at the museum and they had a fantastic time.”