32 children in Aruba participate in Island(er)s at the Helm school activity

Students of ages eight to twelve years old from the Montessori school in Aruba gathered at Ayo to visit the pictograph site with archaeologist and PhD candidate Harold Kelly (National Archaeological Museum Aruba). Together, they explored the Ayo Rock formation, got a tour of the pictographs and participated in an engaging discussion about heritage and climate change and how climate challenges affect their daily lives.

The students from the Montessori school participated in the Aruba Certification programme where they learned about Aruba and its  heritage. This session was organised in collaboration with Harold Kelly (Island(er)s at the Helm/National Archaeological Museum Aruba) and Educampus.

The pictograph site at Ayo in Aruba consists of 3 boulders with pictographs. In 3 parallel groups, the students visited the pictographs, explored the Ayo Rock formation, had a collective discussion and answered questions regarding their views on climate change in Aruba. In the discussion, the students spoke about the archaeological site, gave their perspective on climate change, how it affects their future, and what they can do about it. In particular, students shared how they experienced temperature increase and brainstormed how they could adapt to these challenges.

Harold Kelly introduces the activity to the first group of children.

This discussion and the children’s input contributes to Harold’s research and shapes the ways in which the project will engage with the youth in the future. This is connected to Harold’s research titled `Long-term evidence for social adaptations to climatic challenges within the Dutch Caribbean, an archaeological perspective”. Harold will continue organising school activities in Aruba in collaboration with the National Archaeological Museum Aruba. This was the first activity of Schools at the Helm program of Island(er)s at the Helm across the ABCSSS islands. Future editions will engage different schools, islands and youth of other age groups.

Island(er)s at the Helm PhD candidate Harold Kelly speaks about the pictograph site.

Photo credit: Karin Drost-Hijmering.

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