Conservation Wars…

…is the title of our new conservation module that we are in the process of developing for our school visits. Together with Knole’s Learning Officer, Barbara, her team of volunteers, myself and Zena and Alex our Conservation and Engagement Assistants, we have designed a module that can fit in to the school visit day alongside the other activities available for schools to choose from.

The first slide in our presentation for the school module.

The first slide in our presentation for the school module.

At this stage we have devised the module for key stage 2 (ages 7 – 11).  Our aim is to have a module suitable for all key stage groups.  We began with deciding how much information about preventive conservation we wanted to try to teach.  Looking at the agents of deterioration we decided to introduce this as the theme of the module but only focus on three of the agents that are very relative to Knole; light, dust and touching, and pest insects. Barbara came up with the brilliant idea of the Conservation Team battling against the enemies that are the agents of deterioration. We thought this might be a good concept that would capture the children’s imaginations.

 We’ve put together a short presentation (mostly images) to introduce the subject of conservation and the agents of deterioration to the school group.  It is aimed that this will last no more than 15 minutes (we’re still testing it). The rest of the session is all hands on and interactive with three activities based on light, pest insects and touch and cleaning. The group would be split in to three smaller groups. Each activity lasts 10-15 minutes, and the activities are swapped round each group.

The pest insect activity involves the children making their own pest insect traps, looking at insects we’ve collected from around the house and matching up the insect and mammal life cycles.

Making pest traps

Making pest traps

The light activities include taking light readings in the room, making a blue wool dosimeter (light monitor), and seeing how much ultraviolet light there is in sunlight coming through the window.

Two examples of dosimeters we use and a 'home made' dosimeter.  We use a special light sensitive photogtraphc paper that changes colour / fades in the light within minutes, so the children can see the reaction happen instantly.

Two examples of dosimeters we use and a ‘home made’ dosimeter. We use a special light sensitive photographic paper that changes colour / fades in the light within minutes, so the children can see the reaction happen instantly.

The beads are covered in a chemical that react to UV. One half of the clear perspex have a UV filter on it (the side where the beads are cream) and one half with no filter (the side where the beads are pink).

The third activity, focuses on physical damage from human touch and cleaning the group will use handling frames to see how different materials can deteriorate from touch, investigate dust samples and have a go at cleaning different objects including some dusty textiles.

???????????????????????????????

Last week we delivered the session to the learning team volunteers to see what they thought of the module.  They gave us some great feedback and now we’re making a few revisions.  We hope to trial the module with a school group soon.

Emily

Advertisements

One thought on “Conservation Wars…

  1. This sounds like great fun and am fascinated by the beads, in the abacus like structure, changing colour when exposed to UV. Look forward to hearing how it all goes down with the school group.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s