In the outskirts of Athens, Peripatos in cooperation with the 1st Primary School of Vrilissia is teaching students different ways to relate cultural heritage to everyday items, like toys. Through the Creative FLIP Learning Labs program, a project initiated by the Goethe-Institut Brussels in cooperation with ECHN that aims to connect schools with the cultural and creative sector, the students got familiar with creative professions about the way, means and requirements of their process in a hands-on and interactive learning experience. The students of sixth grade arrived at school excited to present a fully curated exhibition to the rest of the students and show the younger ones the history of toys.
After six months and 10 workshops with Peripatos, a greek team with a mission to promote and manage the socio-cultural heritage, the students curated an exhibition based on the journey of toys from ancient to modern times.
As part of the “School full of Heritage” action, the students took a trip to the National Archeological Museum in the city centre of Athens and followed the steps of a stimulated archeological excavation. They worked collectively to solve riddles and dug into sand to uncover hidden toys and collect them. Some of the toys were found in good condition, while others were discovered broken or damaged. In that case the students learned ways to preserve the findings, clean them and put them back together with handmade clay in order to present them.
The students went through multiple stages of an archaeological exhibition with the help of Peripatos team. Starting from the excavation and restoration of the items, they later had to explore their origin. After they studied the background of each toy, they divided them into groups. Next to every section the students had designed boards with descriptions of each item and a QR code that allowed us to listen to a recorded guided tour they had prepared. From the text, to the graphic design and the recordings, everything was initiated by the students and each one of them was responsible for a different role. When we arrived at the school, they were excited to present the exhibition and guided us through each section, while meticulously explaining the games.
The exhibition was divided in sections according to the main purpose of the toy, including ceramic toys, toys with wheels, dice, card games, board games and a playground for individual and team games. Each section narrated the evolution of the toys through time and we could observe how a simple pair of ceramic wheels became a track or an aeroplane miniature in the past decades. In individual games you could explore spinning wheels, hula hoops and puzzles, while board games seemed to be everyone’s favourite!
After our guided tour, we got the chance to talk with a few students and get their impression on the experience. They agreed that the trip to the museum was one of their favourite parts of the project, as they got the chance to work collectively and solve riddles that led them to explore more information about each of the findings. The students talked to us about the team spirit they felt while working together and how this experience gave them an insight into professions they had little knowledge about. We were also curious to find out whether they would consider a job in the Cultural and Creative Sector later in the future and were glad to receive several positive responses.
Creative FLIP Learning Labs is happy to support an interactive school that promotes creativity and lets students explore their own interests and abilities through art and culture.
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