An exciting new team has formed in the National Museum of Scotland – the Young Demonstrators! Aged 14 – 26, these young people come from a variety of areas and backgrounds but they all have one thing in common… they all love the museum and they want to help other young people discover the amazing things it has to offer.
Sixteen young people came together during the summer for the first Young Demonstrators training courses, where they got to know the museum and each other before creating their own mini-tours. Working solo or in groups, the new Young Demonstrators rose to the challenge, choosing objects, researching them and rehearsing before delivering their tours on the final day of training.
A round of speed dating helped the groups to get to know each other – although not in the romantic sense. Paper fortune tellers, which you might remember from school, were used to aid conversation on three minute dates. Inside the fortune tellers were questions which would help to reveal each other’s deepest, darkest secrets: which super power would you choose; what annoys you most; who would you like to go on a real date with?
After getting to know each other, the groups needed to get to know the museum and what better way than a selfie challenge. The Young Demonstrators were given a checklist of images to collect, including a picture of themselves with something colourful, useful, and massive, as well as getting a bonus point if they got a selfie with a member of museum staff.
The Young Demonstrators also spent time meeting museum curators and getting advice from our Volunteer Guides. The Guides have a regular programme of tours in the museum and after taking our groups on tours they sat down over a cuppa and gave their best hints and tips. Some of the Young Demonstrators also got to go along to a Mercat Tour of the Royal Mile and the brave ones might even go on a Ghost Tour of Edinburgh in the future.
Each Young Demonstrator has their own special interests in the museum and they used these as the focus for their own tours. Some found they had themes in common and clubbed together to create a joint tour while others flew solo. After developing a tour and rehearsing it with each other and museum staff, the Young Demonstrators led their own tours around the museum. The tours were all really creative and incorporated themes such as Waterloo, Buddhism, animals and technology.
Now that everyone is trained the Young Demonstrators are meeting once a fortnight to plan future activities in the museum for young people. Their first aim is to plan and run activities for Takeover Day on Friday 20 November – watch this space for more news!