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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Young explorers

Institution: 

British Museum

Designer: 

In-house; games designed and built by GR/DD

Category: 

Education

Why

 

Young explorers has been designed and created as an informal space – an online destination where parents can be confident that their children can visit, play, engage and learn in a safe environment.

The message is you don’t have to learn here, but you might do without even knowing it.

Aimed directly at children aged between six and 12, Young explorers offers a range of content from games and videos inspired by the collection and the cultures it represents, to mini-features about over 500 objects from around the world and fun activities such as ‘make your own Lewis Chessmen’.

Young explorers provides content that can enable visitors to engage with, understand and interpret the Museum’s collection, and was developed to create pathways that lead visitors to that content in a way that empowers and inspires them.

Content was therefore devised:

  • to create a positive feeling towards the Museum and its collection
  • spark an interest that would inspire the seeking out of further information or use an activity such as creating an Aztec mosaic
  • offer opportunities active participate by, for example, asking a curatorial expert a question, or sending a photograph of work created for display in our Post gallery
  • and ultimately establish the Museum as a place with which younger visitors want to stay involved with should they ever grow out of Young explorers.

The content includes:

Interactive games 
Developed with the assistance of (and tested by) children from Argyle Primary School, Camden. These are: 

Time Explorer
A multi-level, platform-style adventure game in which players are young curators who travel back in time to ancient cultures and help the local population save a treasured object from impending natural disaster. Knowledge of objects and cultures is essential to save the day

Little or Large – guess the size of Museum objects

Piece by Piece – put ancient artefacts back together for display

The Great Dig – excavate through the layers to find hidden Museum objects

Museum Run – race around the Museum to see all the objects before closing time

Brief history videos

Exploring the themes of Clothing, Money, Time and Writing through objects in the Museum collection

 

Museum explorer
An object search with options to discover 500 objects from the Museum collection by  theme and culture

 

All about and A closer look
Mini tours through groups or individual objects by theme, type, and culture

Create activities
Fun things to make, from salt dough chesspieces inspired by the Lewis chessmen, to Aztec hot chocolate