Knowledge Integration (KI) students research, design and build their museum exhibits as an opportunity to explore the unique and rewarding challenge of creating their own hands-on learning experience.
“Students take three courses in preparation for these exhibits, which are meant to provide them with skills to problem-solve, communicate, think creatively, and conduct research”, said Rob Gorbet, Chair of the Knowledge Integration department. “You will find all of these influences displayed in the student’s work.”
At the end of their second year in the program, students participate in a field trip to a museum-rich city in Europe to immerse themselves in museums and culture. Following their return, they spend seven months combining what they found with what they’ve learned. This year’s exhibits are based on a field trip experience to Amsterdam.
“The museum-focused design courses are the reason I joined the Knowledge and Integration program,” said second-year student Matthew Koristka. “Seeing the third-year student’s work here has me excited about travelling soon to Berlin, Germany, in preparation for our class exhibitions next year.”
For the second year in a row, KIX has centered exhibits around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s five exhibits are outlined below, and each is connected to a specific SDG, in an effort to educate and inspire visitors to act on that goal.
Points of You: Reframing Perceptions
Learn to use the power of perception to your advantage. At this exhibit, visitors explored the meaning of perception and its impact on their view of the world. Visitors learned to use it to reframe their experience of daily events. Points of You: Reframing Perceptions showed the influence of perception and how it can be a tool to mindfully improve one’s mental health (SDG #3: Good Health and Well Being).
Beyond the Bin
Reduce. Reuse. Rethink. Recycling is good, but why not do better? Beyond the Bin looked at the recycling system in the Region of Waterloo and suggested better ways to lessen one's environmental impact. These actions enable individuals to contribute positively to SDG #12: Responsible Production and Consumption, as it relates to individual consumption.
Paint it Orange; Resilience in the Face of Trauma. How much do you really know about Canada’s colonial history? This exhibit inspired visitors to consider this question. Mashkawizii explored the terrible legacy of the Canadian residential school system and the struggles and resilience of those who continue to survive it (SDG #10: Reduced Inequalities).
Shine a light on volunteering abroad! What happens when we take the spotlight off of the giver and instead illuminate the impact that volunteer work has on communities and the individuals that make them up? Shady Aid looked at the dark sides of volunteering abroad, and responds to SDG #11: Sustainable Cities & Communities.
By putting our heads together, we can create more socially sustainable communities. This exhibit acknowledged the difficulties of disagreement and its importance on both individual and societal levels. Visitors were provided opportunities to reflect on ways to approach disagreement constructively as well as strategies for improving sustainability within small communities (SDG #11 Sustainable Cities & Communities).
Jim Gardiner, CEO of the premier sponsor of the event, Meridian Credit Union, stated that, "Meridian’s mission is to help lives grow, and two of the ways we do this are by investing in communitiesand contributing to a healthier environment. The SDG-aligned student exhibits are doing just that, and we are happy to support their work!”
The Mashkawizii, Beyond the Bin, and Shady Aid exhibits will be on display at the City of Waterloo Museum from March 26th to May 31st and admission is free. An official opening will take place at 6:30pm on March 28th. Over 650 visitors viewed the KI-X exhibits this year, and hopefully many more will have an opportunity to see those on display at the City of Waterloo Museum.
The Faculty of Environment would like to thank the following reviewers who provided feedback to the students:
- Karen VandenBrink, Manager, City of Waterloo Museum
- Dave Hollands, Head of Creative, Royal Ontario Museum
- David Marskell, CEO, THEMUSEUM
- James Jensen, Curator, Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum
- Kevin Von Appen, Director of Science Communication, Ontario Science Centre
- Jon Beale, Manager, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
- Jim Gardiner, CEO, Meridian Credit Union
- Ava Hill, Chief, Six Nations
- Betty Pries, CEO, Credence & Co. Consulting
- Tom Galloway, Councillor, Region of Waterloo