Collaborating on Student Vision
The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) and the Grand Rapids Museum School have been teaming up for a super cool project that lets students bring their classroom learning to life by creating a real exhibit for the public to see. The Seminar is designed to give every 7th and 8th-grade student a chance to participate and create an exhibit that highlights the Museum’s Collections in ways that are not typically accessible to the public. This project is a unique opportunity for students to learn about creating exhibits and get hands-on experience with Museum professionals’ help, connecting them with the Museum in a new way.
The Process in Action
The project includes four touchpoints that bring together students and GRPM staff to guide students through the process of creating an exhibit. These steps are modeled after the exhibit development process used by the Museum.
Touchpoint #1: Exhibit Theme Introduction
A Museum curatorial staff member will come into the classroom and explain how museums choose exhibit themes. The class will brainstorm topics they're interested in and pick a theme by the end of class. The class will finalize their theme and make a list of objects they want in their exhibit.
Touchpoint #2: Artifact Analysis and Label Writing
Museum Education team leads an activity to help students understand the artifacts in their exhibit better, think about how they connect to the theme, and research any questions they have.
Touchpoint #3: Design Plan
GRPM Exhibits team teach the class how exhibits are curated and designed. Students will make a design plan with the staff's help. Students chose all elements of the graphic design from fonts, to color schemes and any additional images that would be used for the displays.
Touchpoint #4: Installation
GRPM Exhibits staff provide labels, case furniture & artifacts to help the students install the exhibit. Trough the installation process, every student is involved in the steup of the displays whether it is arranging artifcats or hanging information panels.
View the Finished Installation
Remembering Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II was born April 21, 1926 and passed away on September 8, 2022. The Queen’s recent death inspired our class to create this exhibit. We saw the outpouring of support from around the world on the news and social media and decided it would be fitting to commemorate her life in our local Museum. This exhibit includes information about her interests and personal style, important milestones in her reign, and how she was celebrated around the world. In our research, we became aware of some people who shared grief and frustration with the monarchy, so we wanted to address that as well.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was June 2, 1953 when she was just 25 years old. She was queen for 70 years and 214 days, making her the longest serving queen of England. Many souvenirs were made to commemorate her coronation and other significant royal family occasions and events, including marriages and jubilees. Jubilees celebrate important milestones in the reign of a monarch.
The Remembering Queen Elizabeth II micro-exhibit can be viewed now through March 1st on the second floor of the GRPM. This exhibit was designed and created by Grand Rapids Public Museum School 8th grade scholars, led by GRPS teacher Amanda Irwin, for the 2022-2023 school year.