Museology at the Field

Updating Museology

Using digital tools to curate an exhibit

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Museology: Creating Museum Exhibits

Structured as a yearlong Chicago Public Schools course, the Museology program at The Field Museum puts young people in charge of designing and curating their own public exhibit. The NLI and The Field Museum have worked together to infuse the course with opportunities for teens to integrate new media into their design process and into the final exhibit.


At the beginning of the yearlong course, teen participants are offered the challenge of designing and curating their own exhibit around the theme of Climate Change. Working in collaborative teams, or “departments,” that mirror those at the museum (such as the Education Department and the Interactives Department), teens explore, research, and plan their exhibit. Museology participants integrate the use of new media tools to (1) engage in the learning and exhibit-design process, (2) plan, collaborate, and critique ideas, and (3) create an interactive experience for their exhibit audience. Specific activities include:


  • Mobile Interviews | Equipped with mobile devices provided by the New Learning Institute, teens hit the streets to interview peers and community members regarding what they know about climate change. This data is used to design their exhibit.

  • Social Network | Museology students use the NLI’s social network platform to blog, share project ideas and progress, and critique each other’s work.

  • Augmented Reality | Teen participants integrate mobile-based augmented reality software into their exhibit to provide their audience with an interactive experience around the issue of global climate change.

  • Mobile Scavenger Hunt | Using the SCVNGR platform, Museology students create a mobile-based scavenger hunt integrating key content at The Field Museum to engage visitors in learning more about climate change.


Through this process, teens demonstrate how new media tools are integral to driving their own learning and to working with each other to develop their skills and understand the content.