Operation Artefact, or how to go to the museum without going to the museum!

Operation Artefact is the first exhibition that the Musée de la Gaspésie carries in its suitcase. It allows the museum institution to visit schools and students to be informed, captivated and mobilized by a real artifact hunt.

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This is the mission that the Gaspésie Museum as part of its A museum in my suitcase To go into schools and allow students to be informed, captivated and mobilized.

Operation Artefact is in fact the first exhibition that the Musée de la Gaspésie is carrying in its suitcase. The museum called upon a Montreal company, CREOto create this interactive and travelling exhibition. For the moment, it is only offered to Gaspesian schools, but who knows, it might go on a provincial tour one day.

As Katherine Yockell, the Museum's Cultural Mediation Manager, explains, it's a scavenger hunt around the world in which participants must find the right answers in order to get closer to an artifact stolen by the dastardly Pillars! The artifact race - a kind of Carmen Sandiego adventure - is done on a floor equipped with sensors that display details on a map when a correct answer is found. When green appears, you can continue your quest for the artifact; when red appears, you have to double your efforts to find the right answer!

Here is a video that helps you understand what it is all about: 

A museum in my suitcase: an interactive floor

Intended for the schools of the Gaspé, with a certain cost to bring a team from the Museum, the project has been in development for two years, says Ms. Yockell. According to her, this creation "is a way to make the museum more accessible, since the Gaspé is a vast territory.

A first experience

Located a few steps away from the Musée de la Gaspésie, Holy Rosary Elementary School of the Chics-Chocs School Service Center was recently the site of the first Operation Artifact, in which students in grades 4 and 5 participated.e, 5e and 6e year.

Isabelle Dupuis teaches 5e grade. She says that for this first attempt in a school, the experience was very positive. Technically, there were no failures, either with the floor or the projectors illuminating the information on it. Each student had the opportunity to answer questions when it was their team's turn to walk the floor. So participation was good. 

"Since it's similar to video games," she continues, "the students were in familiar territory. But they weren't sitting. They had to move around on the floor! For the teacher, it makes a big difference. It's more motivating, more participatory.

Satisfied with the elements seen in the game? Ms. Dupuis mentions that the information in Operation Artifact relates well to the content of the social studies program and that it provides a better understanding of life in the 18th century.

For the teacher, A museum in my suitcase allowed the students to learn more because they could see the artifacts. Concluding with this example, "Now they are able to understand why whales were important, especially their blubber, which was used as fuel." 

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About the Author

André Magny
André Magny
For more than 30 years, André Magny has been going back and forth between journalism and teaching French to teenagers and adults alike. Freelance freelance writer for various media including Francopresse, he was also a cultural journalist at Law in Ottawa and in charge of new technologies at Soleil de Québec. He also did sports journalism in France. He has a weakness for the Francophonie, culture, sports, cuisine and politics.

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