History in Our Hands
Programs. $4,800,000 the first year and $4,800,000 the second year are for programs and purposes related to the historical and cultural heritage of the state of Minnesota, conducted by the Minnesota Historical Society.
This groundbreaking project is creating a new model for school field trips using mobile and web technologies to capitalize on the natural behaviors and learning styles of today's students. "History in Our Hands: the Field Trip for the 21st Century Learner," will demonstrate how museums can use technology to create self-directed, personalized, responsive field trip experiences that deepen students" connection to history while honing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Launching in fall 2013 to students on field trips, "History in Our Hands" will first be used in the recently opened "Then Now Wow" exhibit. Upon entering the gallery, students will receive handheld devices pre-installed with the mobile application. The application will enhance students" experience and promote interaction with the physical exhibit by encouraging them to answer questions, solve problems and collect digital artifacts related to the exhibit and items in MHS's vast collections. These items will be stored in a student's "digital backpack," and can be accessed online long after the field trip is over, promoting further classroom study and post-visit projects. A "Classroom Toolkit" will also be available to help teachers incorporate the content from students" digital backpacks into future lessons and build on the fundamental strengths of field trips as supplements to classroom instruction. Society staff leveraged the initial research involved in creating "History in Our Hands," made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, to earn a $449,000 national Leadership grant from the institute of Museum and Library Services in the fall of 2011.