Ryebuck Media’s Youth Challenge 2007

Ryebuck Media and the National Museum of Australia education section have just completed their series of Youth Challenges on ‘The Mysteries of Maralinga’, arguably Australia’s major Cold War activity.

Challenges were conducted in every capital city, to 93 schools, 102 teachers and 775 students.

The program took students through a variety of sessions that stressed historical skills as well as content about Australia’s atomic testing program of the 1950s.

Four key aspects emerged:

  • students were fascinated to learn the details of this historical event, such as that Australia was only the third place ever where atomic weapons were exploded;
  • they saw how they successfully exercised their critical, analytical and empathetic skills to explore the issues;
  • they identified the continuing relevance of many of the concepts involved to their own society today;
  • and they realised very strongly that history is about real people.

Students were overwhelmingly positive in their evaluations of the day – 84% of them rated it as Excellent or Very Good, and 98% rated it Good or better. Teachers were even more enthusiastic, realising how effectively the program can be transferred to other situations within their own classrooms – 65% rated it excellent, 96% rated it Very Good or better, and 100% rated it Good or better.

Details of the evaluations, and many student and teacher comments will be posted soon. Photos from each of the Challenges will also be made available on the official Australian History Mysteries website.

Go to the Official Website ….