The project tested a learning activity organised around a museum workshop (8th March 2016) implemented in a primary school of suburban neighbourhood (Firmin Gémier school, Aubervilliers, near Paris).
The first objective is to change the historical french approach concerning the ‘Mongolfière’ presented as a french invention (see here for detailed explanations about this unit and there for). So, the aim of this workshop is to show that balloon flight in the Enlightenment constituted an important event in European history, from both a scientific and a technological point of view. The second one is to develop tools in order to enrich the cultural partnership between a museum and schools of suburban neighbourhood.
Step one: the pupils studied the balloon with their teacher during a historical research. In parallel, they tried to understand the scientific reasons for explaining the observed phenomena and to know their European origins. They presented their works and wrote reports. They posted drawings on the walls of the classroom.
Step two: the Museum of Air and Space implemented a workshop into the school. The pupils construct the model of 2 balloons with the help of the mediators and their teacher. When the models are built, the classroom tested if they work correctly. Then, the activity was used to develop technology learning, and also scientific and language training.
Step 3: with these activities, the pupils have knowledge about the balloon and historical questioning. They wrote a questionnaire in order to prepare a visit of the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace collections. During the visit, they observed a balloon and many objects documenting the history of inventions. A mediator helped them to find answers to their questionnaire.
Step 4: with the collected data, the pupils wrote reports and prepare presentations.