This thesis details my process in designing and delivering a program, “The Evolution of the Erie Canal,” to residents of the Solstice Senior Living at Fairport, New York, utilizing objects from the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s teaching collection. Given the ever-increasing population of American adults aged 55 and older, it is more important than ever for museums to create engaging programs aimed at this sector of the population. The goal of this project was to create a meaningful object-based experience for participants through discussion and reminiscence. My sources include findings from similar projects, literature on working with adult audiences, and research-based best practices for presenting to an older audience. This paper details my process in choosing objects, doing research, creating a PowerPoint presentation, and organizing the program content. The findings reported in this thesis include an analysis of the participant evaluations and my own post-program assessment. These are then synthesized into recommendations for anyone interested in doing a similar project in the future.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Museum Studies (BS)


Michael Brown

Advisor/Committee Member

Calvin Uzelmeier

Advisor/Committee Member

Tina Lent


RIT – Main Campus