Conner Prairie Internship Updates

Conner Prairie Internship Update #1

My internship this year will take place at Conner Prairie: Indiana’s Living History Museum. The Conner Prairie Museum enriches its community by providing living history experiences. Their mission is to “inspire curiosity and foster meaningful interaction with unique, engaging experiences that don’t exist anywhere else.” At Conner Prairie, they transport visitors back in time to Indiana during the 1800s. They provide an educational foundation for Indiana’s growth as a prairie town to its role in the Civil War. They also provided information concerning Indiana’s vegetation and wildlife. My assigned mentor is Ryan Shank who is the museum’s Director of Digital Experiences. Within this department, they have created numerous digital and virtual experiences, providing access to various educational resources. These resources include online courses, digital exhibits, virtual tours, and more. This department supports its mission by allowing those who may not be able to attend the museum in person a chance to engage with their history. By providing various online resources, Conner Prairie can connect and inspire communities across the country.

My current project with Conner Prairie is the creation of an online exhibit that explains, interprets, and engages visitors with Indiana’s history of the Civil War. Although I have deep knowledge about the Civil War, I have limited knowledge when it comes to Indiana’s role in the war. My interest in the history of everyday and mundane life pushed me to be intrigued in the everyday life of Hoosiers during the Civil War. Also, Indiana was a divided state of opinion when it came to the Civil War. Many people within Indiana had mixed feelings concerning both the Union and the Confederacy. It is this diverse mix of public opinion that has piqued my interest in the subject. I have worked closely with Ryan and AJ Fletcher, Web Administrator, at Conner Prairie. AJ introduced me to the software used by Conner Prairie and provided guidance concerning the creation of a webpage and online exhibit. Another interesting aspect of my internship is museum education. I am excited to be working with Ryan on creating a set of lesson plans pertaining to my digital exhibit.

Not only am I excited to create new digital historical projects, but I am also excited to be a part of an incredibly welcoming group of people. Since my first meeting with Ryan, I have felt very involved in the Conner Prairie community. I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year goes!