Meet Laura Walter, Education Assistant
I am in the Public History MA program, at Western University, and I am currently carrying out my research assistantship at the museum. I started last September, and was thrown into a very busy fall, with a different school group visiting, roughly every Monday and Wednesday that I was at the museum. I help with providing tours, conducting First Nations craft sessions, preparing curriculum based programming, and outreach programming. My favourite part of the position is getting to interact with the children, seeing their faces light up as they step back in time and learn about the First Nations people in Southern Ontario. Particularly with Museum School, which is an excellent program, as it allows for me and the others working in education to get to know the children, and see their knowledge of First Nations history and culture develop, as they spend their week at the museum.
Coming from Penetanguishene, and having previous experience at Huronia Museum, in Midland, I was expecting the museum to have the typical archaeological artifacts in rows of glass cases, but the gallery space is visually pleasing; with historical wall paintings, a hanging canoe, and longhouse, along with being interactive; as one can step into Wilfred Jury’s office or dig in an archaeological site. One of the great aspects of the school tours, is that children can physically handle artifacts, while learn about their purpose, to gain an overall idea of how these early people lived.
To those who are interested in volunteering at the museum in education, if you enjoy learning and sharing history and like a busy energetic environment, the education department can always use the extra hand, as the visiting group size increase all the time. Although, it is a lot of information at first, with time and practice, you will be able to increase your First Nations knowledge, communication skills, and time management ability, while having fun.
To follow my journey through the Public History program at Western University, check out my blog lwalter23.wordpress.com