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Back to the Future with Girl Scouts: Agent “M” Speaks

I, Agent “M,” am on a very important mission.  I must help thousands of Girl Scouts save the future by becoming an Agent of Change.

Agents of Change is an online, interactive game that is being played at the National Archives and 11 other cultural institutions in Washington, DC, during the Rock the Mall event. The goal of the game is to answer the question, “Why do collecting institutions matter?”  I knew that the National Archives would be the perfect environment for them to explore this question.

In the game, the players live in a post-apocalyptic world and find a box of solar-powered smartphones that enable them to travel back in time to the 21st century  to collect items to improve society. They collect important objects from each of the participating sites by taking photographs and uploading them to the Agents of Change website.

The site and iPhone app allows players to sort, discuss, and vote for their favorite items to collaboratively build a new future. “Agents” from the participating sites, including the National Archives, contribute to the online discussion in order to help meet learning goals.

To help shape the Girl Scouts decide what to take back to the future, I am creating “transmissions,” short videos, audio recordings, or text messages, about the National Archives and give them ideas about what they may want to bring back to the future. The first transmission they will receive when the game launches on June 7 will be the video, followed by this text message:

This place is known as America’s “record keeper.”  It is the home of documents that tell the stories of America’s past and include letters, photographs, video and audio recordings, drawings, maps and more.  These documents were very important to the ancients because they formed the basis of, and reflected, what the ancients referred to as their “democracy.” If we bring some of these records back with us maybe we can bring organization and innovation to the chaos of our world.

Beginning June 7, the future is in the hands of the Girl Scouts! Facsimiles of documents will be available in the Boeing Learning Center for them to explore and photograph and there will be several “agents” on hand to answer questions, discuss ideas with the players, and facilitate the activity. 

 Will the National Archives help rebuild the future?  Tune into agentsofchangehq.com to find out!

(And don’t miss our special early entry for Girl Scouts and their families, special activities, films, and Girl Scouts documents on display! Details here.)

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