Take a Stand!

Take a Stand! in action

Conceived, designed and produced by Inquirium
For the Miller Family Youth Exhibition
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Are you ready to Take a Stand?

Take a Stand teaches about the power of your actions to make a difference in the world.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center hired Inquirium to conceive, design, and implement a learning environment to teach children aged 9-11 the universal lessons of the Holocaust, as part of its newly constructed museum in Skokie, Illinois.

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

A one-of-a-kind exhibit, Take a Stand uses invisible motion tracking to immerse young people in a rich environment in which they can safely explore the challenges, risks, and rewards of taking action to impact society.

The Challenge:

How do you help a 5th grader understand and care about the holocaust without going into the horrors?

The Approach:

  • Provide kids with the opportunity to engage in social interactions that challenge them to observe, make choices, resist negative forces, & help others.
  • Create an imaginative setting that allows them to safely explore roles and identities.
  • Support character-building social interactions in a physical space that translate into an allegorical fantasy realm.

Enter the unfolding story of life in a pond…

Exhibit Entrance

Once upon a pond, there lived a group of frogs . . .
You've lived with these frogs for a long time . . .
One day, things start to change. What will you do?

You are a frog, part of a community of frogs who share a pond. Swim around. Hop on lily pads. Catch flies. Move around the space to control the actions of your frog. As you immerse yourself in this world, explore your role in the pond and your relationship to the other frogs.

Over time, new frogs enter the pond and begin to change things. Who are they and what are they up to? Notice what is happening. Decide how you want to act in response to the changing world. Your actions and the actions of your peers determine the fate of the community.

Explore your impact on the world...

Take a Stand provides a allegory for the quandaries that we all face as we try to live together in a society. Issues of power, responsibility, personal well-being, helping others, selfishness, and cooperation all resonate in the activities. The goal of the experience is to provide visitors with a rich environment in which they can safely explore the challenges, risks, and rewards of taking action to impact society.

Screen view

Throughout the experience, nothing is told; you must notice the unfolding events yourself and with the help of your peers. There are many possible endings, each one shaped by the actions of the players.

Questions to think about…

  • What are the roles of each frog? Who are the victims? Perpetrators? Bystanders? Resistors? Which role do you want to play?
  • How can you respond to the changes in the pond? What are the risks and consequences of each choice you make? Why is it so difficult to "take a stand"?
  • Did you act alone or with others? What are the challenges of each approach? Is it tempting not to act at all?

How can I use Take a Stand to teach the moral lessons of the Holocaust?

The moral power of the Holocaust has given it a unique role in the education of American children. Lessons about speaking out against injustice, resisting bullies, defending others, and understanding the impact of one's words and actions all hold a vital place alongside the Holocaust's historical lessons. Teaching young children these lessons is important in laying the groundwork for understanding the complex social, cultural and historical issues that gave rise to the Holocaust. Take a Stand aims to teach the moral lessons of the Holocaust — both as a critical element in the character development of young people, and as important preparation for their future study of the Holocaust.

About The Learning Experience:

Take a Stand is designed to be a facilitated experience involving two rounds of play and supported by docent-led discussion following each round. For instance:

  1. First play (about 3 minutes)
  2. Discussion, focusing on who the characters are, what happened, and what you would do differently.
  3. Second play (about 3 minutes)
  4. Discussion, focusing on what we can take away from the experience.

Through iterative play and reflection, participants gain a deeper understanding of their virtual world, the characters that inhabit it, the actions that impact the pond, and the steps they can take to make it a better place.

About the Technology:

Inquirium has developed a one-of-a-kind technology that tracks the motions of participants in a 20x20 space in order to control objects on a giant 18 foot screen. Through your movements, you can control virtual characters (in this case, frogs on lily pads) as they hop around and catch flies. No wearable sensors or devices are required. Simply enter the space and start moving around!

Take a Stand encourages you to take actions that have meaningful consequences for the people around you. As you explore this playful, interactive virtual world, you encounter situations that cause you to reflect, make choices, and take actions in order to make your world a better place.