A museum adapted to young generations was the vision and the wish of the Canadian veterans who founded the Juno Beach Centre (JBC), Canada’s Second World War museum in France. Since opening in 2003, the JBC has resolutely focused on encouraging youth to remember. The museum’s youth circuit, designed for young people visiting with their families and with school groups, is central to this mission. It enables a unique, interactive and immersive discovery of the role that Canada played during the Second World War.
In 2019, this youth circuit was redesigned and modernized, offering a completely new experience. With new interactive modules, including a digital app on tactile screens, the museum is further adapted to a young audience, reaffirming the Juno Beach Centre’s role as an institution dedicated to families, education and learning.
“Explore Juno as a Family”
The “Explore Juno as a Family” activity makes visiting the museum more engaging, accessible and experiential, as families are encouraged to discover the museum together. The exhibit modules introduce a variety of interactive options: debating and deciding, selecting, guessing, making mistakes, comparing, associating notions and ideas with historical facts and photographs. The inclusion of digital technology in the form of educational games creates a learning experience centred around critical thinking, marking a shift away from a more traditional approach taken by museums, in which technology is simply used to add to the existing content. Games illustrating appropriate comparisons, differences and similarities with today’s world, ensure that historical content is more adapted and relevant, and complex historical themes are more comprehensible.
At the end of the circuit and gathered around a giant screen, families tally up the “poppy points” earned throughout the games and conclude their visit learning about Canada today, its culture, geography, climate and people.
How it works
With NFC stickers (tags) given with the admission ticket, visitors register and create a profile on a tactile screen in the hall of the museum or in the first room of the permanent exhibit. The tag allows visitors to access the games in each room of the museum and keep track of their progress and the “poppy points” earned after each activity. The tactile screens in each room provide clues or answers, allowing families to discuss and work together to complete the games.
Explore Juno as a Class
The “Explore Juno as a Class” digital app enables primary and secondary school groups and their teachers to discover the museum and the youth circuit with a Juno Beach Centre guide. A class is divided into small teams, each with their own tablet. The teams use their tablets to answer questions and complete games, which were specifically conceived to suit the learning needs and levels of the students. Across the different exhibit rooms, students learn about the role that may have been theirs during the Second World War and reflect on universal historical themes. The guide has a master tablet that allows him/her to follow each team’s progress, in order to generate dialogue/discussion and to collaborate/exchange throughout the activity
At the end of the exhibit, students tally the “poppy points” earned throughout the activity on a common screen with their guide and share what they have learned with the other teams. The guide then leads a discussion with the students about Canada today, linking historical and contemporary themes.
How it works
This app functions with Wivi (wireless visit) technology which allows access to the museum’s content without downloading. The students’ digital tablets and the guide’s master tablet are necessary for the experience, as well as a giant tactile screen which is used for the concluding discussion at the end of the visit.