Children will have a chance to learn about West African culture, language, and geography when From Here to Timbuktu: A Journey through West Africa, which opened at EdVenture January 20. The exhibit takes visitors on a journey through three of West Africa’s geographic areas – the coastal region, the Savanna grasslands, and the Sahel bordering the Sahara Desert and leading to Timbuktu, an ancient center of learning. The exhibit was created by EdVenture Children’s Museum.
Children can travel by moped, camel, fishing boat, and over canopy walks as they move through the regions illustrated by colorful graphical panels. Along the way, they participate in exploratory hands-on activities that provide a taste of West African life. They can fish with nets like coastal fishermen, experience the sights and smells of the urban Apapa marketplace in Lagos, Nigeria, sojourn through the rainforest, experience traditional housing and social activities such as a dance school and village beauty shop, and get creative with the sand of the Sahel region. The journey ends at the City of Timbuktu where children can learn to write their names in the native languages of Arabic and Tuareg and send a postcard detailing their travels.
The exhibit was created by EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia initially through a grant made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The mission of EdVenture is to inspire children to experience the joy of learning. EdVenture is dedicated to lifelong learning through its 92,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor interactive exhibit space and in its educational outreach programs and after-school programs. The museum has welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 18
foreign countries, creating shared experiences and memories for families learning together. For more information about EdVenture, visit www.edventure.org or call 803-779-3100.