Express Yourself: The language of social media comes to life.

The generation gap in language is nothing new: Adults and kids have long lamented that the other just doesn’t get it. Surely, they are speaking different languages. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way we use smartphones: One group prefers to dial a number for a chat and the other can communicate entire paragraphs via emojis. The smiley faces, hearts and colorful icons serve as a shorthand in text messages and social media.

Though most simply shake their head and complain about “those damn kids” or “those old geezers,” the Hill Aerospace Museum in the town of Roy has found a way to bring both together in a way both groups will understand: an emoji scavenger hunt.

Using emojis as clues, families can seek out certain aircraft—the Grandpa emoji plus a waving hand equals “Old Shakey,” a C-124 cargo aircraft. The idea itself is a cross-generational collaboration between Education Specialist Mark Standing and his summer interns from Utah colleges and universities.

“The clues are all awesome, very clever,” says Robb Alexander, Executive Director at the Aerospace Heritage Foundation. “Museum patrons—kids and adults alike—have really loved doing this together.”

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Susan Lacke
Susan Lacke
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