When offered a unique opportunity, Shawn Randall changed his class’ curriculum to meet the needs of a client.
Students at BYU-Idaho developed an exhibit about the Evolution of Yellowstone, taking an idea from concept to creation as part of a class project and in conjunction with the Teton Geotourism center, according to the press release by the Geotourism center.
“The new exhibit featuring 100 years of the National Park Service and the methods of travel to Yellowstone will enhance our basic draw and service to the visitors of the area,” said Deb Hinckley, the executive director of the Teton Geotourism Center, according to a press release by the Geotorism center.
The exhibit shows how transportation and technology have changed in the last 100 years.
“The public relations office at BYU-I has a relationship with the Teton Geotourism center,” said Shawn Randall, the art faculty member whose students designed the exhibit. “They have been trying to do some outreach and they developed a small exhibit that was recently taken down and replaced by this new exhibit.”
Randall said the TCG center asked BYU-I to create an exhibit, so they contacted Brett Sampson, the University Public Relations director, who then reached out to the faculty in the art department.
“I felt like it was a great fit for our class and fit our curriculum needs, which could be taught to the students and give them an opportunity to create something for real world,” Randall said. “We decided to change literally three weeks into the semester.”
Randall said they changed their last project for the class and took on that project to create this exhibit. He said it was a six-week project and that is all the time the students had. He said he exchanged the final project for the class with this exhibit project.
“In that time they had to do the research themselves, gather the information, create the actual exhibit and also figure out the narrative and the text for everything,” Randal said. “They were responsible for everything from the writing to the images.”
Randall said that for this project, the class was divided up into five teams of five students. Each team developed an idea and created everything from start to finish.
Hinckley said the five groups from the design class were competing to create the best exhibit for the Geotourism center.
Hinckley said each of the groups represented an exhibit design agency with every member in their various groups having a specific role to play.
Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place—its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well-being of its residents, according to National Geographic.
Randall said the project that won focused on the photography aspect of it. They showed pictures that would have been taken from the olden days until now and how the experience of going to Yellowstone National Park has changed from then until now.
Hinckley said a four-person committee of volunteers was created to help select the winner of the contest. On the committee was Brett Sampson the University Public Relations director, John Wall, Simone Hunter and herself.
Hinckley said the official 100th anniversary for the parks will be August 25.
Hinckley said the students conducted an analysis on the center to find out where they were lacking and helped come up with solutions for them. She said the students put together proposals for their project which were very well done.
On display at the Geotourism center are the mockups of the exhibits of all the students who participated in creating the exhibit.
One of the pictures from 1966 from the exhibit reminded Hinckley of an experience she had in Yellowstone when she was a child.
Hinckley said that when she was eight years old, her family drove up to Yellowstone National Park. She said as she and her family looked out one window of the car, her dad had a sandwich in his hand and by the time they turned around, there was a bear trying to eat out of his hand through the window on the other side of the car.
“This picture, it was that very experience,” Hinckley said. “There is a lot to really enjoy in this exhibit as far as 100 years of National Park Service.”