The pilot activities followed the working phase devoted to the Internal Workshops, where teachers and cultural educators explored how the principles of the peer education can be concretely combined with those of cultural heritage education. The testing phase involved Secondary School students, teaching staff and cultural educators from Italy, Greece and Spain so as to locally perform appealing, creative and interactive activities to approach and train the young participants on cultural matters as well as to support them in their personal development and growth. The HEROES educational proposal - developed with the contributions of each partner country – provided a series of activities designed to make the students active protagonists of their learning path.
The specific activities tested were:
- The “Treasure Hunt in Ancient Greece” by EKEDISY, a discovery path across Ancient Greek History and Athens tangible heritage, aimed to learn about different periods of local history and masterpieces;
- The “Virgen de la Victoria de Málaga” by UMA, an activity focused on the Virgin’s icon between ancient and contemporary art, including: approach, research and study of the Sanctuary and the Malaga Cathedral devoted to the Virgin and the Jorge Rando Museum, where the contemporary reinterpretation of her icon (by Jorge Rando) is guarded;
- The “Digital Art Ambassadors” by the Uffizi Galleries, consisting in the creation of short videos whose subject has been cultural heritage as a reason of inspiration for the restart of the country, where students declined this peculiar subject starting from works or motifs present in the local museum they chose;
- The “FIRENZE the Right Way 2.0” by Marco Polo Institute, the historical city center of Florence is the subject of this activity where the students were engaged as “guides” to help visitors and residents to discover the historical, cultural and environmental beauties of the territory, also suggesting them hospitality and leisure with the aim to raise their awareness on good and sustainable travelling practices.
In each country the testing of the HEROES methodology for cultural heritage education faced the limitations due to the Covid 19 emergency. It required to all the involved actors a great effort but, at the same time, it offered a great opportunity to put themselves out there. The students, teachers and cultural educators accepted the challenge launched by the pandemic by making the most of all the potential offered by ICT. The students attended online lessons for the theoretical preparation, they did virtual visits to several heritage sites (museums, galleries, external sites) and pushed the research of new ways of expression combining education, digital technologies and cultural heritage. This way, the experimentation activities - beyond what was initially planned - proved to be "actualized in their time" and created the opportunity to appreciate the creative and resilient potential of young people once more.