A grant from Artswork kick-started a collaborative project with Palm Bay Primary School and their Creativity Lead, Melanie Tong. From our first meeting, we knew we wanted to explore the idea of peer-to-peer learning with the Powell-Cotton Museum supporting the school’s year 4 Young Arts Leads (YALS) to co-produce an exciting art resource, which they could use to teach their peers about still life. 

The museum felt, who better than children, to know what will excite and interest their peers? We believe them to be the experts! We wanted to empower children to make decisions, learn new skills and provide meaningful opportunities in which they can apply them.

We began by commissioning them:

The Powell-Cotton Museum invites Palm Bay Primary school YALS to create The Arts Box.  We commission you to develop and design a box of resources which will go on loan to other schools where it will help other children like yourselves become passionate about art.  Your workings must be clear and fun. No pressure…

Next up we invited the group to the Museum to look around and get a feel for what is in our collection. The visit gave the students opportunities to create art and try out different styles, and learn about the importance of museum collections. Along with training in handling objects, and how to be a curator. With the children in the driving seat, we gave them the task of choosing objects from the collection, that they felt would inspire art.  The YALs selected the animal skulls and bones that they wanted to include in their learning resource. Working from a design brief, and with ideas boards showing a range of art mediums they created the resources that accompany the objects with suggestions for how they can be used in the classroom.

Back at school, the students continued their work experimenting, sharing, researching and discussing what would make it into the loan box.

The final outcome of this project is a student-created loan box for schools. Everything from the objects, activities and instruction sheets, was created by the YALS and their fellow students. The box includes examples of their own artworks to inspire other schools and students.

We are proud of the students for their focus, creativity and dedication to this project. They created not only a useable and exciting art box for schools, but they also created a sharing legacy between Palm Bay Primary School, The Museum and future schools in the district.

Giving children the responsibility to lead with ideas and the presentation of them, has meant that their understanding of the roles of museums and the artefacts that they hold has developed beyond any day visit, as well as their art skills and knowledge.

Melanie Tong, Art Specialist Teacher, Palm Bay Primary

This loan box is now available to borrow from the museum. If you would like to borrow it, learn more about this project or would be interested in partnering with us on future projects, please get in touch with our Learning and Engagement team below.


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Contact us directly

Our Learning and Engagement team can be contacted by emailing learning@powell-cottonmuseum.org.