“Campaign! Make an Impact” project a great success

For the past six months (December 2009 to June 2010) The Peace Museum has been working with Year 8 students from Bradford Academy on an innovative project called Campaign! Make an Impact. Campaign! Make an Impact is a cross-curricular programme that uses history to inspire young people into active citizenship.  It is a national programme in partnership with the MLA Council and The British Library that is being rolled out across England in 2009/11, funded through the DCMS/DCSF Strategic Commissioning Programme. Campaign! Make an Impact uses historical campaigns to inspire and teach campaign skills, enabling children and young people to run their own campaigns about issues that affect them today.

Three-step model

It works through a three-step model that first encourages schools and local museums to work together, using museum collections and classroom resources to help young people understand historical campaigns. Next, the students explore the creative techniques that were used by historical campaigners.  Finally, they run a campaign on a subject of their own choosing such as bullying, knife crime or the environment. Bringing history and citizenship together deepens the learning experience.  Young people leave the programme feeling that they know and are able to change aspects of their world, a valuable lesson that helps increase self esteem.

Anti-nuclear campaigning

The Peace Museum’s project with Bradford Academy focused on historical anti-nuclear campaigning.  During the project students were provided an overview of the Atomic Age from 1945 to the present day.  They examined issues surrounding the dropping of the first atomic bomb, the Cold War, the influence of atomic weapons on popular culture in the 1980s and the disarmament movement. Students had the opportunity to have hands-on sessions with artefacts from the early anti-nuclear campaigning period, including banners, leaflets, posters, and even footage from the very first protest demonstration march to Aldermaston.  Students heard about historical and present-day anti-nuclear campaigning from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and particated in a ‘Bomb Factor’ activity.

Students choose their own campaigns

The students then examined campaigning methods and selected issues that they wanted to campaign around.  Working in small groups with a locally-based filmmaker the students devised their own short films to use in their campaigns and received help in developing their skills in writing, filming and editing.  For their campaigns, the students at Bradford Academy chose issues that they felt were most important to their lives and in their communities, including: knife crime, animal cruelty, child abuse, drug abuse and prostitution. The Campaign! project was a great success. The students’ campaign films were featured on the school’s intranet and highlighted in the school newsletter.  Students enjoyed the project, with one student commenting that “I liked working in my group and producing something really good” and another saying that they liked “being able to pick up your own campaign and work with your friends on it.” The Peace Museum would like to continue running more Campaign! Make an Impact projects and encourages schools to participate.  Please contact the museum directly for more information. For information about the national initiative and educational resources for developing campaigning skills and other historical campaigns please visit the Campaign! Make an Impact website.

Students’ campaign films

To view the five different campaign films the students created as part of this project, please click on The Peace Museum’s YouTube site.

Students display their campaign poster

Students from Bradford Academy proudly display their campaign poster against animal cruelty.

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