21-Tech

The 21-Tech initiative has allowed me as a Discovery Guide to push myself further on how much information I can process and share with each visitor I encounter.- Odis Garrett, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a bridge between our museum guides and the visitors in that it creates connections between educational concepts and the real world.- Shawn Waxali, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech has helped Discovery Guides engage visitors by extending their experience through the apps and applying it to the exhibits.- Ian Tibby, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a way of ‘hiding the vegetables in the fruit’ where the kids do not realize they are learning, but instead having fun and being fed knowledge that intrigues their minds.- Lauren Bell, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech provides a new outlet for our Discovery Guides to interact with the visitors in a way that further enhances their experience and makes the visit overall extra enjoyable.- Sylvia Garcia, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide

Content Modifications/additions for summative evaluation

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For this final round of evaluations we are making several modifications and additions to the exhibit we will be using.

  • Polls added to two of the “Try This” posts. Will see how/if they are used and what feedback we get from visitors about them.
  • Added a new Post to “Try This” – Challenge 2 – Tandem Launch. Goal is to launch both rockets at same time to same height.  This is aimed to build on Challenge 1 – Controlled Launch which has the visitor launch a single rocket to a specific height.
  • Previous Cycles showed a lack of a marker confused visitors on the “Try This” challenges. We are working with Exhibit Staff to add a physical marker to the launch tubes.
  • The idea behind our ‘Science on the set’ post was to have visitors make their own videos about the science of the exhibit. It was originally framed as a competition, where submissions would be compared to others and a winner declared.  We are modifying this to be less a competition and more simply making a video.  The hope is that more people will make videos when it isn’t a competition and in turn will be more engaged and get more out of the exhibit.
  • A “prize” will be placed near the exhibit for visitors who complete all the challenges. It is a Large ID badge with the photo area cut out. This is something we think will be fun ways to reward visitors for taking the time to fully explore the exhibit.  We hope to see it show up in social media as visitors use the App more and more!

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Project Brief

21-Tech partners study and share the effective use of Personal Mobile Technologies (PMTs) by gallery facilitators in their work with visitors. The initial three years (2011-2013) of 21-Tech are funded in large part by a 21st Century Museum Professionals award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is led by the Children’s Museum of Houston in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, New York Hall of Science, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Sciencenter. For more information, please visit the About page.

Major funding provided by:

Additional support provided by: