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Conner Prairie going interactive to attract younger generations

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – More and more, kids are learning through technology. One of the region’s biggest history museums is creating new ways to keep pace while staying true to its roots.

On a cool spring day, students at Corum Deo Academy in Carmel aren’t looking at computer screens or swiping away on iPads, they’re entranced by stories, from people, in person at Conner Prairie.

The reenactors and historians are one of the most special parts of Conner Prairie and one of the reasons the outdoor history museum has been so successful for decades.

It’s awesome,” said 6th grader, Kenneth Taylor. “You go here and you feel like you’re not from 2016, you’re from that time, with those people, learning what they did, how they did it.”

It’s interactive learning at its best, and just because what’s taught here are lessons from the past doesn’t mean Conner Prairie isn’t in the now.

“You can tap on any county and it will give you information about who lived there, why they did this and what stuff went on,” said Taylor.

Technology has been seamlessly incorporated into exhibits to give guests the ability to “accept or exclude” treaties for themselves, or gaze upon a projection of William Conner himself.

“We’ve tried to develop computer interactives, games, hands-on materials that will help families understand that transition from 1815-1825,” said exhibit developer, Cathleen Donnelly.

Yet, even with the digital upgrades, it only takes one glance at the faces of kids to see what is still the most favored and timeless draw; the storytellers.

Coming this summer to Conner Prairie is the “Tree Top Outpost.” It’s a big outdoor tree house created in honor of Indiana’s bicentennial. It opens July 1.