Desinging Tools: Form and Function
(2005-2006)Sophomore's in Dr. DeBiasse's USI classes partnered with the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts to conduct research and prepare gallery notes for an array of artifacts featured in the new exhibit on the industrial era.
The exhibit focuses on 18th and 19th century objects in the METC collection, exploring both the fascinating design of tools and the tools used to make elegant designs. METC Education Coordinator Meg Wastie, Curator Peter Rothenberg and MHS History Chairperson Mark DeBiasse led students through an exploration of how museums conceptualize, research and stage exhibitions for a public audience.
Click here to view photos of the Designing Tools exhibit created with the assistance of MHS American History students
Students conducted independent research for several weeks before meeting for a full Saturday afternoon at the museum—a day devoted to finishing research and writing the gallery notes.
Students created handmade invitations for the January 30 exhibit gala opening, inviting their freshman year World History teachers as well as district and high school administrators.
Students acted as interpreters, discussing the design and use of the objects with peers during a class trip to the museum. Students had the opportunity to practice their presentations for the gala opening and sharpen their public speaking skills.
Students and their parents attended the gala opening. Museum trustees, local media and many community members were present for the exhibit's unveiling. The students put on a marvelous display, sharing all that they learned with those in attendance.
"I am so proud of the work students did with the METC this year. What began last year as a project involving eight students has blossomed—with 20 involved this year. The scope of our involvement has also grown, with students participating in nearly all aspects of staging an exhibit. I am grateful that the METC staff has been so willing to think creatively about ways to engage students in the work of historians.”
Mark De Biasse,
MHS History Department Chairperson