Museum's 'hands on' history exhibition captivates pupils

Updated: Dec 26, 2017, 10:35 IST | Pallavi Smart

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya gets items of historic value from museums across India and world, holds workshops and seminars to give a different perspective

Since the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) opened its doors to a unique exhibition, history lessons in schools seem to have become more interesting. Daily two schools have been taking their students to the museum since 'India and the World', the specially designed exhibition began on November 11. The CSMVS has managed to gather items of historic importance from different museums across India and world to give students a hands-on experience of history, as well as a holistic understanding of India's history.

Students at a talk at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Students at a talk at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Students can learn about the Harappan and other civilisations by holding objects from that time, about trade among different countries with specially designed games, see Akbar's royal armour, and even Stone Age items. They can also see an imprint of the Constitution of India and artwork from before Independence showcasing the importance of India's freedom struggle and other events. There are Harappan and Egyptian weighing scales for students to understand how measuring was done then. Students will also get a chance to try different scripts with stamps of the Brahmi script, Roman script etc.

Workshops and interactions
Bilwa Kulkarni, education officer at the CSMVS, said, "The exhibition is targetted at engaging students into the next level in learning history. We have also opened a forum for more interaction with artwork sessions and paper presentations." The highlights of the education programme in the three-month exhibition are the master classes, a series of workshops led by specialists in art, history, archaeology and India, and the World Impact - a programme for school and college students, designed to encourage research skills, aesthetics and creativity. Apart from this, there will be demonstrations with artists and workshops for children every weekend. Schools can take advantage of the Gateway pack - a package of guided tours, activities and talks that can provide a wholesome and enriching experience of the exhibition.

'Better understanding'
"We want students to engage at a deeper level by giving them hands-on training to understand historical events with a larger perspective. We have teaching resources for teachers before their visit with students. This ensures that the teacher is already aware of the exhibits, and this way, for students, it can be effective understanding," said Kulkarni. "We have made an orientation film for teachers as well as students, which is a must-watch for all visiting schools before coming, because it prompts few questions in students' minds, which they can find the answers to at the exhibition. These are hints and pointers that we are giving the children for better understanding at the exhibition."

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