This summer, as the Education and Engagement Assistant once again, I have experienced many new and exciting experiences at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Working as the assistant for Sarah Belley, the Education and Engagement Coordinator, I have learnt new educational methods, teaching practices, and artistic approaches, while also applying some of my own skills to assist her in redeveloping programs and events.
At the beginning of the summer, preparation for the temporary exhibit Five Faces, Five Corners, was being completed. During this time, Sarah and I worked on finalizing aspects of her interactive project for the exhibit, which depicts the economic differences between the value of money today and that of 1919. After the exhibit opened, we focused on engagement objectives as the Hops and Heritage event was right around the corner. Once Hops and Heritage ended, we began completing projects to prepare for the outreach events we attended this summer, including Cultus Lake Days and Canada Day. After July 1st, we switched our mindsets and focused on redeveloping the education programs and organizing the department’s files and storage space. Finally, Sarah has envisioned many innovative and captivating projects for the educational programs at the Chilliwack Museum, so, to finish the summer season, we have researched and drafted new proposals for educational activities and kits. Overall, I have learnt a significant amount this summer about events coordination, engagement with the community, and education methods that involve intriguing and new ideas that encourage participation from all the students.
To prepare for the outreach events we attended this summer, Sarah and I created activities that reflected historical aspects of Chilliwack, British Columbia, and Canadian history. As I learnt last year, the people of Cultus Lake value the history of the area. Therefore, for Cultus Lake Days, we brought printed historical photos to show how the area has developed, while the atmosphere has remained inviting and entertaining. At Canada Day this year, Sarah constructed a photo booth using props that reflected Canadian culture, like the beaver. As a quick trivia game, we printed and researched Canadian inventions to quiz visitors at our booth. Did you know the caulking gun was invented in 1894, by Theodore Witte of Chilliwack?
Overall, my experience as a summer student again this summer has been fascinating and full of incredible learning opportunities. Working as the Education and Engagement Assistant for Sarah, I have learnt new historical facts along with many artistic and educational methods that I can apply to my future career.