Thursday, May 17, 2012


This fall the Museum will open a major new exhibit on spatial thinking. As part of the design process, the exhibits team turned Discovery Studio into a test lab for exhibit prototypes during April school vacation.

Navigating mystery mazes
Made from simple materials like scraps of wood, cardboard and hot glue, the prototypes were early designs of possible components intended to help us explore concepts and learn from visitor response. We were interested in finding out what age children were attracted to each activity, how they figured out what to do, how long they stayed engaged and whether they expressed excitement, interest or frustration.

Drawing three-dimensional shapes
We asked our testers what made the activity fun (or not), what made it challenging and what might make it more interesting. After observing and interviewing over 50 children (ages 4+) and their adult caregivers, we learned a lot from how visitors used the components and what we might do differently.

Exploring shape, scale and proportion with shadows
As we make changes to our designs and build new prototypes to test other activities, we’ll ask visitors again to play and share feedback – we really appreciate the help in designing the new exhibit!
Robin Meisner, Director of Exhibits

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