Village Life In Rural Niger Exhibit

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Exhibit Design for Village Life in Niger

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  • I served in the US Peace Corps in Niger West Africa for two years from 1999-2001. Since returning, I and my fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have been trying to spread the word about life in Niger and our experiences there.
  • Village Life In Rural Niger Exhibit

    1. 1. Village Life in Rural Niger Exhibit Preston Gales ET671 – Spring 08 Dr. Hoffman
    2. 2. Why is this exhibit necessary? <ul><li>A wealth of Peace Corps stories that should be shared with a wider audience </li></ul><ul><li>Will fulfill Peace Corps' third goal of bringing unknown cultures home to Americans and broadening peoples' geographic education </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive videos, art, artifacts, stories and photographs reflecting life in Nigerien village </li></ul><ul><li>Returned Peace Corps Volunteers' (RPCVs) experiences will be harnessed and will cover a number of subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from Niger will be brought into discussions of... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>farming, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cooking, and dining customs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>formal and informal education systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic challenges and opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interpersonal interaction and community decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the roles of women and children in society </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Exhibit Overview <ul><li>Exhibit will take on a major documentary role: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>telling the stories of what it is like to live in Niger </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For people of all ages </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibit will feature a store, a library and meeting rooms to serve as resources for concerned citizens, researchers, RPCVs, and prospective recruits </li></ul><ul><li>The exhibit would attract materials from RPCVs around the country </li></ul>
    4. 4. Audience <ul><li>Americans considering serving in the Peace Corps </li></ul><ul><li>Students studying cultures outside the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Adults who are curious about other cultures or who are considering visiting other countries </li></ul>
    5. 5. Outcomes <ul><li>Learners will be able to identify 3-5 facts about village life in Niger </li></ul><ul><li>Learners will be able to use a few common greetings and other key words. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners will be able to demonstrate an understanding of village life and traditions around the every day lives of Nigeriens living in a village. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners will gain an appreciation for the daily hardships of village life in Niger as compared to their own daily life </li></ul>
    6. 6. Attracting Visitors <ul><li>The entire exhibit will be designed to feel like a Nigerien village with small mud huts containing the displays </li></ul><ul><li>Village life in Niger is so completely different from life in the United States, the visitors' curiosity would draw them in to experience village life and get a hands on experience </li></ul>
    7. 7. Specifications <ul><li>Exhibit will include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>exhibit guides playing the role of villagers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interactive video segments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fun assessments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>genuine objects that users can interact with and learn to use with help from the guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educational audio clips for each display, photographs, and art </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The exhibit will be available both at the museum as well as on the museum’s website </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The online exhibit will have slightly different functionality than the physical museum </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Specifications <ul><li>The displays of the exhibit would include the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typical village greetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the village school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit with the children of the village </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a traditional meal with the villagers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the village store </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit with the men of the village </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the villagers while they make mud bricks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the surrounding area of the village </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the women while they pull water from the village well </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Specifications <ul><li>The display huts will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hold up to 8 adults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contain parabolic speakers to focus the audio </li></ul></ul><ul><li>While walking through the exhibit the visitors would hear typical village sounds like women pounding millet or domesticated animals such as: chickens, donkeys, camels, and goats </li></ul><ul><li>They would also be able to interact with the guides and ask questions and learn typical village greetings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This would help accomplish Outcome 2: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learners will be able to use a few common greetings and other key words </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Specifications <ul><li>Once in a display hut, the visitors would be able to read, hear about the objects and access an interactive video for the specific display </li></ul><ul><li>Any objects/artifacts would be behind a display case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visitors could read placards or press an audio button to hear the details about that object/artifact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visitors could access the objects/artifacts with assistance from the guides after passing an assessment </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. Specifications <ul><li>Videos broken into sections that visitors can access at each display </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each clip would be 3-6 minutes in length and features subtitles as well as opportunities for the viewers to interact with video stills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At the end of each video the visitors will have the opportunity to click on certain people or objects in video still shots to find out more information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fun assessment at the end of each video that would test the visitor’s retention of what they just learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>results would be scored against other visitors’ scores so they could see how they stack up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to get a score of 70% in order to “win” the ability to learn to use the artifacts with the assistance of one of the guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assessments would be tracked to evaluate visitor learning and participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The assessments would help accomplish Outcome 1: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners will be able to identify 3-5 facts about village life in Niger </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Specifications <ul><li>Upon scoring 70% or better on the assessment, one of the guides will be called to the display hut to see if the visitors would like to learn more about and how to use the objects in the display </li></ul><ul><li>This will help with a few things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure that users are learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure that the visitors want to learn and are not “playing” with the objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gives the visitors choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide them with a “prize” at each display </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>help accomplish Outcome 3: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learners will be able to demonstrate an understanding of village life and traditions around the every day lives of Nigeriens living in a village </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 14. Specifications <ul><li>At the video kiosks, visitors will be able to enter email information and send questions to current volunteers serving in Niger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Niger volunteers have a common email address and have access to this email account once a month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emails will be tracked to evaluate the degree to which visitors are driven to learn more about Niger on their own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This would help accomplish Outcome 4: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learners will gain an appreciation for the daily hardships of village life in Niger as compared to their own daily life </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Keeping Visitors Engaged <ul><li>Life-size photographs, art and other visitors using the objects would draw them to each display </li></ul><ul><li>Occasional visits and/or webcasts from Returned Peace Corps Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Occasional visits and/or webcasts from Nigeriens living in the United States </li></ul>
    15. 16. Drawing on Prior Knowledge & Experience <ul><li>Each description (audio clips and placards) would ask the visitors to think about and try to compare the everyday tasks of villagers to their own everyday tasks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One example might be: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think about where your water comes from and what you have to do each day to get it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now compare that to what you just learned about how the villagers get their water. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you think you might use less water if you had to work hard to get it? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Exhibit examples include : <ul><li>Where do villagers get their water? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs of villagers at the well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audio clip explaining the photographs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An example of a well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audio clip explaining the example </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive video – Visit the women while they pull water from the village well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A “loga” and rope for pulling water (upon scoring 70% on the assessment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The rope and “loga” display would be set up to allow visitors to experience what it is like to pull water from a 30 meter deep well. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resistance would be set to simulate the effort of pulling a full “loga” of water to the top. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guide to lead and explain the exercise </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 19. Exhibit examples include : <ul><li>How do villagers prepare their meals? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs of men harvesting the millet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audio clip explaining the farming and harvesting process in Niger </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs of millet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audio clip explaining millet and how it is used </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photographs of women pounding the millet into flour using a mortar and pestle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audio clip explaining the “pounding” method </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive video - Prepare a traditional meal with the villagers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A typical mortar and pestle for visitors to use (upon scoring 70% or better on the assessment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guide to lead and explain how the villagers use the mortar and pestle </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 21. Exhibit Store <ul><li>The final stage of the exhibit would feature a store where visitors could: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gather informational booklets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase food, art work or other items they have seen in the exhibit which serves to help the people of Niger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional recipe and language books would be available for purchase </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email questions to past and current volunteers serving in Niger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a donation to help the people of Niger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect information on visiting Niger </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This could also be used to evaluate the impact that the exhibit has on helping visitors appreciate Nigerien life by bringing it into their homes and donating money to help the people of Niger. </li></ul>
    19. 22. Conclusion <ul><li>Americans, now more than ever, want to learn more about other cultures outside of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Peace Corps volunteers have a wealth of knowledge, art, stories and artifacts and are willing to share their experience </li></ul><ul><li>We need a place for Americans to learn from the experiences of fellow Americans who have lived there </li></ul>

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