Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II: Star Stories of the Dawnland  Ongoing

In affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution  

The Abbe Museum partnered with schools in the Wabanaki communities to give students the opportunity to research, learn about, and photograph the cosmos using telescopes owned and maintained by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The resulting exhibit, Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos II: Star Stories of the Dawnland, features photos taken by children in the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Penobscot, and Micmac communities in Maine. Each image was chosen to signify some connection to oral Wabanaki traditions that help explain the universe. The exhibit opened to coincide with the Acadia Night Sky Festival.

Pleasant Point

Mia, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Lacoiya, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Hailie, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Jaylen, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Morgan, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Natalie, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Nedra, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Petak, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Selena, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Serina, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Teryn, Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point, Grade 6

Indian Township

Alannah, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 6

Alexis, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Taylor, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Chris, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Emma, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 6

Jennah, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Ryan, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 8

Simone, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Twyla, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Mikey, Passamaquoddy at Indian Township, Grade 7

Houlton

Jordan, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Grade 9

Dustin, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Grade 10

Zobid, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Grade 5

Kayla, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Grade 10

Indian Island

Ben, Penobscot Indian Nation, Grade 8

Jayden, Penobscot Indian Nation, Grade 8

Shirley, Penobscot Indian Nation, Grade 8

Presque Isle

Mimiques, Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Grade 10

Ali, Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Grade 5

 

Educational Programming  Ongoing

Our hands-on learning space on the lower level of the Circle of the Four Directions is a place of activity and learning. Over the span of several months in 2017, the educational staff dedicated time to institute new independent learning opportunities, such as the ever popular clam digging station. This is a tactile learning station where children are invited to engage in an activity that brought Wabanaki people to the coasts of Mount Desert Island for thousands of years. 

It is through this active play that we hope to reach young people in a fun new way of learning about culture and history. In the Learning Lab we have also displayed several of our Education Collection items as well as animal puppets that correlate with Wabanaki stories. For example, we leave a traditional Wabanaki pack basket for children to play with after they have read Kunu’s Basket by Penobscot author Lee DeCora Francis. This offers children the opportunity to reenact and play out the stories as they wish.

The Learning Lab has a proven track record of being a transformative space for our visitors. It is the site where we set up touch tables for school aged groups to engage with object-based learning programs. On weekends and in the summer, it is often turned into a creative space for arts-based programs that simultaneously encourage children’s imagination and educate. This space continues to be one of the Abbe’s best assets and its versatility will continue to serve the public well as we continue our educational work.