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House of European History Launches Family Discovery Spaces

9 Mar 2018

New interactive learning zones and time-traveller experience for children and families

Today the House of European History officially opened its Family Discovery Spaces, providing 6-10 year olds with fun and engaging exhibits about aspects of European history. Princess Europa and her brother Cadmus are the two characters leading children on a time-traveller experience across 400m² and 4 floors of immersive content. Along the way children will smell, feel and live history as never before, through for example, role-play games in a 1960s Travel Agency, walking in the shoes of an astronaut or a 1940s nurse in the Costume Gallery, or grappling with robots and submarines as imagined from the past in Europe. The activities represent a discovery-based learning approach, placing emphasis on inquiring, inventing and crucially, having fun.

Museum Director Constanze Itzel: ‘“Today, you’re going to become a time-traveller and visit the past” is a much more enticing phrase to a 6-10 year old than “You’re going to visit a history museum!” Through the Family Discovery Spaces we are giving parents tools to address issues about today’s society with their children in a safe, playful environment and age-appropriate manner. Taking the 1960s Travel Agency role-play game as an example, a child can understand not only that their grandparents were once young, but that the former European geo-political landscape was vastly different than today. This supports our learning aim of deepening intergenerational connection in terms of memory.’

Head of Learning Ewa Goodman: The Learning Team has chosen a low-tech approach in the construction of the Family Discovery Spaces, away from screens and tablets, to boost real-life engagement with others and teamwork. Developed by our trans-national education specialists, interactive games such as voting stations and ‘design your own city’ give children a voice on contemporary challenges and encourage dialogue with their parents and educators. Overall we want the museum to trigger children’s curiousity about the world around them.”

About the House of European History

The House of European History opened in May 2017 in the European quarter of Brussels. The permanent exhibition galleries offer a unique experience, immersing visitors in the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and an exploration of the development of European integration. Visitors can discover the origins and evolution of Europe, learning about both the continent’s diversity and history’s many interpretations of its story. The learning offer of the museum takes a trans-European viewpoint that explores the historical memories, diverse experiences and common ground of the peoples of Europe and how these relate to the present day. Available in 24 languages, entrance to the museum is free.

For more information contact William Parker-Jenkins, Press Officer, +32 2 283 0541

For media images and videos of the Family Discovery Spaces:

Image and video copyright text: © European Union, 2018 – EP