Project "O! Far Eastern Expedition".

The project "O! Far East Expedition" is a traveling exhibition-laboratory and educational program devoted to paleontology and geology, scientific research and achievements in these fields, including in the context of local history. The program will be implemented in five remote northern districts of Khabarovsk Krai: Nikolayevsky, Okhotsk, Ayano-Maysky, Sovetsko-Gavansky, and Vaninsky. The target audience is school students and families with children.

The exhibition "We've Got Done" introduces the scientists of the Far East, who made a significant contribution to the study of the history of the development and structure of the Earth, minerals and rocks found in the Far East, fossil remains of organisms that once inhabited the territory of modern Priamurye. We first presented unique exhibits and examples of real scientific achievements of our fellow countrymen - discoveries of valuable mineral deposits, first scientific descriptions of fossil animal and ancient plant species, evidence of specific climate changes, etc. Most of the exhibits are the originals. These are fossils and minerals, as well as picket books and field diaries of those scientists, who were the heroes of the exhibition. Their main achievements are reflected on thematic information boards. They include, in particular, a geochronological table, a map of minerals and a map of paleontological finds, prepared on the basis of many years of research specifically for the project. 

The project partners were the Institute of Geology and Nature Management FEB RAS (Blagoveshchensk) and the Kosygin Institute of Tectonics and Geophysics FEB RAS (Khabarovsk), besides the team included an employee of the Territorial Fund of Geological Information. In the process of collecting information and materials the team worked directly with the heroes of the exhibition. The main challenge was to fit a huge amount of material into short texts and excursions and to adapt it for children's audience. 

Mockups and equipment made it possible to implement the educational program "Get Involved!" so as to bring participants as close as possible to the field work of researchers. The study of samples from the geological and paleontological collections took place, among other things, with the help of a microscope and simple chemical experiments. All notes and sketches were entered into "Expedition Diaries", which were developed specially for the project on the basis of real diaries of geologists and paleontologists. The diaries also include an assignment for independent work at home. Children received a set of stickers as a memento of their participation in the program.

As expected, the very format of "museum tours" in remote small communities expanded the event calendar. Different age audiences - from children 5 years old to retirees - perceived visiting the exhibition as a high-level leisure event. This is evidenced by the numerous positive reviews and the "word of mouth" effect, which led to an increase in the number of visits to the exhibition by the adult population. 

During the implementation of the outreach phase, the exhibition was visited by 1818 people (plan - 1400), of whom 1601 became participants in the educational program (plan - 1170). Most of the audience were students in grades 4-8. We received a very good response from the "silver" age audience.

Those who viewed the exhibition on their own actively discussed both the items and the information they had read, and took pictures of the charts and maps that reflected information about their home region. Participants in the educational program noted that the focus on regional findings and research added a zest to the tours and made them interesting for all ages. Everyone enjoyed the practical assignments, scrutinizing authentic objects and documents, touching and examining models and copies, playing the role of real scientists. 

For the children's audience, the amount of information during the excursions varied depending on the age of the participants, and the number of tasks was reduced. The alternation of forms of work and tying practical tasks and sketches to the theoretical part of the program built a clear scheme of work of "explorers", distributed the load. In the section "geology" the information about the origin of minerals and experiments connected with it, as well as work with a microscope and study of crystal forms of minerals caused the greatest interest of children. It can be noted that most of the children are well aware of what minerals are mined in their area, how and where they are used. In the section "paleontology" many showed a good basic level of knowledge about dinosaurs, but the information that these ancient organisms are studied in the Far East of Russia was new. So was the story about ancient sea creatures and plants. The work of the paleontologists seemed fascinating largely due to the familiarity with the authentic finds. They seriously considered the picket books and field diaries of scientists - heroes of the exhibition, and their findings. They were the ones who presented the very "proof of life" that inquisitive children's minds need. The opportunity to work as researchers, to examine and sketch real fossils was the key to the success of the program among children. 

Adults also actively performed all practical tasks and happily studied the specimens. The greatest interest was aroused by the paleontological section - here almost all the information was new. The level of scientific research, the details of the ancient history of the region, how many important discoveries scientists have made practically one step away from their native villages, amazed many visitors.

Some of the exhibits are provided by private individuals for the duration of the project. But even without them, the exhibition is a ready-made traveling project. With the adaptation of diaries and excursions, the project can also be presented in other districts of the region. 

Implementation deadline:

October 18, 2021 - September 30, 2022 (extended to November 30)

The timing of the program in the field phase:

April 25-30, 2022 - Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, Nikolaevsky District

May 30-31 - Sovetskaya Gavan, Sovetsko-Gavansky District 

June 2 - 5 - Vanino settlement, Vanino district

July 4-6 - Okhotsk, Okhotsk District

November 17 - 19 - the village. Nelkan, Ayano-Maisky District 

Amount of funding: 4,189,847.76 rubles.

Of which 3,414,854.76 rubles. - grant amount, 774,993.00 rubles. - co-financing (Grodekovsky Museum)

The main expenses of the grant funds: transportation of the exhibition and the team. Main expenses of the museum: production of exhibition equipment - collapsible showcases and structures.

Author and project manager: Svetlana Andreevna Vavilina

Project Team:

Nina Anatolievna Markova, President of the Association of Museums of Khabarovsk Krai

Yulia V. Ushakova, Grodekovo Museum accountant

Natalya Mikhailovna Zvereva, Deputy Head of the Special Archive of the Territorial Geological Information Fund for the Far Eastern Federal District

Evdokiya Alexandrovna Logacheva, Grodekovo Museum guide

Pozdnyakova Margarita Vladimirovna, Grodekovo Museum guide

Titov Kirill Yuryevich, researcher at the exposition and exhibition department of the Grodekovo museum

Anastasia Mikhailovna Tychenko, artist of the Cultural and Educational Department of the Grodekovo Museum

Project partners:

Institute of Geology and Nature Management FEB RAS, Blagoveshchensk

Kosygin Institute of Tectonics and Geophysics FEB RAS, Khabarovsk

E.F. Morokov Museum of Okhotsk, Okhotsk

District Museum of Local Lore, Ayano-Maysk Municipal District, Nelkan village. Nelkan

N.K. Boshnyak District Museum of Local Lore, Sovetskaya Gavan

Vanino District Museum of Local Lore, Vanino settlement

The Rosov Inter-settlement Museum of Local Lore, Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. V.E. Rozov, Nikolaevsk-on-AmurKhabarovsk Krai Museum named after N.I. Grodekov

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