Michigan State University masthead

Growing Up Digital in Michigan and Morocco

Ground Floor Gallery
November 16, 2014 - June 10, 2015

Through the African and American Museum Professionals Mentoring/Exchange Program, funded by the Getty Foundation,the Michigan State University Museum has been matched with the Maroc Telecom Museum in Rabat, Morocco. This international collaboration has opened up a unique opportunity for students at Haslett Middle School, through additional funding provided by the Verizon Foundation.  The project is being led by Ech-cherki Dahmali at the Maroc Telecom Museum and Denice Blair and Mary Worrall at the MSU Museum.

The MSU Museum is designing the Growing Up Digital In Michigan and Morocco exhibit with the help of students in both countries aimed at their peers, ages 8-13. ¬†The two groups are working together with the partner museums to create a museum exhibit about telecommunications technology and the experience teens have of being "digital natives" ‚Äď a person for whom digital technology has always been a part of their life-- in their cultures. The exhibit will feature a selection of objects, content, and design related to digital technology and co-curated with the students.

To help develop the exhibit, students at Haslett Middle School have joined an after school club called the "HMS Museum Club," advised by HMS educator Ben Pineda. As part of the club, students learn about how to design and build museum exhibits, help gather information for the exhibit by interviewing friends about their technology use, and work together with students in Morocco.

Involving local students in the exhibit process puts best practices into action, and Growing Up Digital offers a unique and exciting opportunity to collaborate with international colleagues and to include local students in the exhibit process. 

Echoes Haslett Middle School's Ben Pineda: ‚ÄúThe opportunity for Haslett Middle School students to work in collaboration with middle school students in Rabat, Morocco, offers a ‚Äėonce-in-a-lifetime‚Äô experience. Creating a museum exhibit maximizes learning through a hands-on approach, culminating in a finished product that brings the real world and the classroom together.¬† This project allows middle school students to take ownership of an exhibit that is truly lived and researched from their digital native experiences.‚ÄĚ

The African and American Museum Professionals Mentoring/Exchange Programis a project of the U.S.-Africa Cultural Heritage Strategic Partnership Initiative (USACHSPI) in collaboration with the International Council of African Museums (AFRICOM), and a number of U.S. organizations, including the American Association of Museums, African American Association of Museums, Michigan State University, Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS), and the Smithsonian Institution. Among its goals, USACHSPI seeks to expand opportunities for exchanges of cultural heritage professionals between Africa and the United States. 

The school educational component of this project and the MSU Museum exhibit are generously funded by the Verizon Foundation.