Tag Archives: England

Teens present ‘Sores, Spores & Sickly Bugs’ at Centre of the Cell @CentreoftheCell

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DSC00006On Tuesday 5th August, a group of 14-18 year olds from across East London came together at Centre of the Cell  to present ‘Spores, Sores & Sickly Bugs’, an exciting new workshop for families about the medical history of the East End. Since October 2013 the group, who are part of Centre of the Cell’s Youth Membership, have been busy conducting research, developing their ideas and creating a set of hands-on workshop stations, resulting in a performance that is entertaining as well as educational.

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund provided the young people with the opportunity to conduct research in a number of different and exciting ways. They visited the Royal London Hospital Museum and Archives, helped host a lecture on the history of drugs and even took a historical tour of Whitechapel to investigate its hidden medical mysteries. They also enjoyed training with the Head of Learning and Project Coordinator to develop practical workshop leading skills, and visited the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Wellcome Collection to find out more about medical and history collections and interpretation.

DSC00030As a result of their research, the young people selected four aspects of medical history they found particularly interesting, and each was used to create a station for the workshop: ‘Anaesthetics’, ‘Children & Disease’, ‘Equipment & Antisepsis’, and ‘Disease & the East End’. Scripts were written, props were made and presentations were rehearsed in time for testing the workshop with families from the local area at the Watney Market Idea Store. Some further refining resulted in stations that were fun and informative. Members of the audience, both young and old, left with a deepened understanding and enthusiasm for medical history. After delivering workshops onsite over the Easter 2014 school holidays, the team trained a new group of 14 – 18 year olds to deliver the workshop over the Summer 2014 school holidays.

IMG_2475Despite being a little nervous, the group delivered a fantastic workshop, leaving the young members of the project with a sense of accomplishment and pride. They described the experience as ‘challenging but so much fun’, and they all gained a deeper understanding of what is involved in organising event and working with a team, as well as developing their communication and presentation skills. They had to work together overcome issues such as time constraints and audience members talking over them, and as a result they developed new friendships and met a huge variety of people, which they described as ‘exciting and a completely unique experience’. The group can’t wait to repeat the show in the coming week: ‘Spores, Sores & Sickly Bugs’ will be delivered again at Centre of the Cell on Thursday 7th and Tuesday 12th August 2014.

To book a place for one of these workshops, please visit http://centreofthecell.eventbrite.co.uk/

To find out more about Centre of the Cell’s ‘Sores, Spores & Sickly Bugs’ project, and the read the website content the young people created, visit http://www.centreofthecell.org/centre/?page_id=352&ks=3.

 

 

How useful is social media for raising awareness about the Holocaust and genocide #WLdebate

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Guest Blog from Katy at Wiener Library

wldebateTo mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2013, the Wiener Library’s Young Volunteers hosted a special debate about social media. Ten young people aged 16-25 came together to discuss the question ‘How useful is social media for raising awareness about the Holocaust and genocide?’. Chaired by the Library’s Community and Outreach Officer, the following questions formed the outline of the debate:

1)    If it’s ‘social’ media, is it suitable for raising awareness of a sensitive topic such as the Holocaust?

2)    Are there differences between the ways social media can be used to raise awareness about the past as opposed to the present?

3)    Memorialisation, learning and taking action? Can social media do anything more than awareness raising?

4)    Where should social media be placed amongst traditional methods of raising awareness of the Holocaust (eg school teaching, museums, films, literature)

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Credit: Ben Turner and The Wiener Library

5)    Are certain types of social media better than others for raising awareness of the Holocaust and genocide?

6)    If we can’t control what gets written on Twitter, is it actually useful at all?

7)    Where do you see the role of social media in the future in terms of raising awareness of the Holocaust?

Some of the key points from the debate were published on the Wiener Library twitter account so the wider public were able to engage with the debate. The responses can still be seen (and replied to!) by searching the hashtag #WLdebate.

Credit: Ben Turner and The Wiener Library

Credit: Ben Turner and The Wiener Library

Lots of interesting points were made but the overall consensus was that social media was a useful ‘way in’ for people in terms of raising awareness. They argued that it had the potential to capture people’s attention and inspire them to learn more as well as take action. One attendee was less positive and worried that social media was a ‘shallow form of engagement’, but that didn’t mean it was not useful, just that it was useful for catching attention rather than deep and meaningful learning. Someone following the discussion on Twitter argued that writing a survivor story in 140 characters (regarding the Holocaust Education Trust’s ‘ask a survivor’ Twitter chat for Holocaust Memorial Day) would lose the historical context, but the group argued that the fact people were asking survivors questions at all via twitter showed some level of positive engagement.

After the debate finished, it was suggested by the attendees that a new online presence was created for them to carry on their discussions. The Library consequently created a debate group on Facebook for those young people and others to discuss ideas and put forward potential future debate topics. We will be holding another debate in the autumn so keep following the #WLdebate!

 

HYPE Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition – Search for Best Practice

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The Hype (Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition) team are a group of young people aged 11-16. Lately we have gone to other museums to see what they have for young people so we can steal their ideas. We visited Brooklands, the Covent Garden Film Museum, the Hunterian (part of the Royal College of Surgeons) and the London Transport Museum.

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They don’t have a youth group at the moment, but are keen to start one so were interested in our ideas. We liked the hangar with the Wright Brothers replica and the other planes that we could go on. The volunteers were also very informative. We also liked being able to go for a ride in an old car on the original banking of the racetrack. Unfortunately we were not old enough to visit the Bus museum, a museum independent of Brooklands, without an adult.  We were disappointed as when we did visit (with an adult) we could see no reason for this restriction. We also felt the site itself wasn’t very attractive.  We thought it would be a really good place for a youth section who could help with restoration projects and at events, as it could be a really hands on experience and they could do large exhibitions.

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