This week, I was lucky to open the museum to the first school tour of the year! The Wells-Barkerville Elementary school was invited for an open house, as an extension of B.C. Heritage Week. I must tell you, having students wander around the museum, engaged with their local history and enjoying artifacts that helped shape their town was absolutely wonderful.
The school visit began with a conversation about gold! Loree Moffat, the amazing school teacher, has been working with the Wells kids on science and technology and asked for a visit that helped further their education. Did you know that the elemental name for gold, aurum, translates to “become light” from Latin? I had a lot of fun creating a program for the students and learnt some things myself. We had a lot of fun talking about the interesting properties of gold that make it so valuable and how it’s used in technology. The children were also given one of their first periodic table and had fun learning about chemistry and elements.
After the talk, the kids looked around the museum at the different technologies on display. They learned about medical technology with the hospital display. The children were so intelligent, they knew that the lead shield was used to protect doctors during x-rays! I had fun explaining what the incubator is used for and the dentist chair looks more like a torture device than medical equipment, so many weren’t quite sure what it was before I explained it to them.
The Wells community is so welcoming that it encourages generations to remain. Some of the students knew this first hand and were able to find their grandparent’s names on the quilt above the incubator and the list of babies born in the Wells hospital!
Many students gravitated towards the mine drill chess set and had a rousing game, with spectators! I’m not sure who won, or if they knew the moves of the pieces but they had fun.
The kids asked interesting questions about mining and technology and were engaged in the history of Wells’ creation. It was a pleasure to host the students at the museum! They were fun and interesting, and I had a wonderful time talking with them. The museum is looking forward to the busy season of school tours and visits this summer to share the amazing history of our little home.