Middle schoolers become marketers
This brochure is an example of the beautiful work that the students at Rocky Heights Middle School created to promote The American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection to their peers.
By Rachel Zetwick, RCHS intern writer
This school year, Sharon Majetich’s eighth grade Explorers team at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) partnered with The American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection to bring more attention to student engagement at the museum and to allow for a project-based learning experience.
Majetich assigned her students to create a project that allowed them to work for the museum while learning about the West. “[The students] were asked to design, interoperate, discuss, and evaluate a real situation and provide feedback to actual people,” said Majetich. The students were able to create their own marketing strategy to market the museum to young students.
It all started in March of 2014 when Majetich met with Kristen Fong, the educational coordinator at the museum. The museum was seeing a lack of attendance by schools from around Castle Pines and other Denver areas, and Fong wanted to create a market that would attract more educators to bring their students to the museum. Majetich suggested that she and Fong team up with Majetich’s students to create a program where their peers could learn about the museum and its importance to the Denver area while increasing school attendance.
Majetich’s suggestion turned into the social studies unit “Art and the American West.” Students in each group were assigned a position in order to engage more museum attendees while informing young people about Western Art and its influence in Denver. The eighth graders became educational consultants to the museum, in addition to enhancing their education through exhibits and working with the museum faculty.
“I believe the students loved expressing their opinions and knowing that a real organization was looking for and respecting what they thought. It helped them approach the project in a real-world manner,” said Majetich.
After students on the team completed their projects, they presented to teacher and student judges who selected 30 to take to the Museum Board. Ultimately, four student products were chosen to be featured. AJ Bacon, Coco Wang, Kaetlyn Cranney and Casidee Gonzales all had projects that will be used to promote the museum.
RHMS plans to continue working with the museum in the years to come. “If it wasn’t for the open-mindedness of Kristin Fong, this may never have happened,” said Majetich. The students’ work may be found on the museum’s website at www.anschutzcollection.org/education/project-based-learning.