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Hack the Museum Workshops

Posted on: 4th August 2016 By: Stef Eastoe

It has been a busy time at the Museum recently. As well as our Crafty Capers, Holiday Activities and Drama Workshops, children have also been busy working with items from the museum collection in rather surprising ways…

During two Hack the Museum workshops children were able to bring objects and maps from the collection to life, using the amazing Bare Conductive ink, audio recordings and computer programming.

Alan Peacock from the University of Hertfordshire led the workshops and introduced us to the wonders of conduction, and how alongside historical research, audio editing software (Audacity), Touch Boards and lots and lots of wires and copper tape we could make things talk.

The objects from the first workshop were put on display in the colonnade, allowing lots of visitors the chance to experience this amazing technology in person. 


Both events went down really well with the children and the adult helpers. Everyone had the chance to learn new skills, giving a voice to objects and locating people’s memories on a huge historical map, using the conductive ink. 


Florence, aged 11: ‘On Tuesday I did a workshop about what life was like in St Albans in the 1900s. We edited recordings on Audacity about a man and woman who lived in St Albans. They told us about Fishpool Street and horse poo as well as other things! Then, after editing them, we put the recordings on a card and hooked them up to buttons we made with the ink. When we pressed the buttons, the recordings played! It was so much fun and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!’

Thanks to all our amazing and energetic participants and Alan for helping us give new life to our objects!!!