NYSci

DefaulticonScience in Queens!

By the New York Hall of Science

There are several recent updates we have made to the More CMH app. Based on previous evaluations, the must see exhibits by age were the first 3 pages the visitors see and they found it to be confusing. For the most part, after scrolling couple of pages, visitors assumed the remaining pages were also by age and did not continue to scroll to find out. By removing the must see exhibits we were able to do two things. First, visitor can now simply scroll through exhibits without confusion. Second, components that were under the must see by age exhibits are now under the appropriate exhibit. It did not make sense to remove the component from it’s exhibit and put it under the must see by age exhibit. Other changes, included making the exhibit images look similar. All the exhibit images now have a logo in the center and slightly darkened exhibit image in the background. Categories have also been standardized, educators now have 10 categories from work with, these 10 categories are broad enough to cover all components at the museum. The option to create new category exists when exception is needed. Based on Cycle 2 evaluations, we have created “Fun Fact” category, which is provide visitors with interesting facts based on the themes of the component or gallery. Other minor changes include image editing to enhance visual presentation, Museum Info format change, and map update to reflect recent changes.

I encourage everyone to take a look at the More CMH app and let me know what you thing.

Our Experience With XCL

Here’s a testimonial about our app.  In September 2009, a series of long range planning meetings were held by the Children’s Museum of Houston (CMH) staff and board with the then-newly released Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills report as our guide for analysis and discussion. “Information Technology” quickly gained front and center status as a new major focus.

In October 2009, O Wow Moments with Mr. O (aka Keith Ostfeld) launched and were showcased on the new CMH blog as a way to provide visitors access to CMH activities beyond the walls of CMH.

In December 2009, the idea for 21-Tech was launched from a desire to begin incorporating mobile device use into exhibit interactions. We knew that visitors were using their personal mobile technologies (PMTs) to find the Museum and figure out what was happening, but putting them in their pockets or purses when they entered the Museum.  We also knew that our Discovery Guide floor staff members were using them for Hulu, texting, Facebook and games in the staff room and then putting them away before they returned to the galleries.

During February 2010, CMH conducted two surveys. One asked visitors if they owned a Smartphone and would they want to use it in the Museum exhibits.  The other asked the Discovery Guides if they owned a Smartphone and would they want to use it in the Museum with visitors. The Museum began exploring how smartphones could be used as a tool in a free-choice learning environment.

In April 2010, with the release of the first generation iPads, the Museum began experimenting with how staff and visitors could utilize them during interactions on the floor.

Our App Evolution

There are several recent updates we have made to the More CMH app. Based on previous evaluations, the must see exhibits by age were the first 3 pages the visitors see and they found it to be confusing. For the most part, after scrolling couple of pages, visitors assumed the remaining pages were also by age and did not continue to scroll to find out. By removing the must see exhibits we were able to do two things. First, visitor can now simply scroll through exhibits without confusion. Second, components that were under the must see by age exhibits are now under the appropriate exhibit. It did not make sense to remove the component from it’s exhibit and put it under the must see by age exhibit. Other changes, included making the exhibit images look similar. All the exhibit images now have a logo in the center and slightly darkened exhibit image in the background. Categories have also been standardized, educators now have 10 categories from work with, these 10 categories are broad enough to cover all components at the museum. The option to create new category exists when exception is needed. Based on Cycle 2 evaluations, we have created “Fun Fact” category, which is provide visitors with interesting facts based on the themes of the component or gallery. Other minor changes include image editing to enhance visual presentation, Museum Info format change, and map update to reflect recent changes.

I encourage everyone to take a look at the More CMH app and let me know what you thing.

Why we chose X exhibit

We liked the X exhibit because it was underutilizied and needed some extension.

Here I write a description about this picture.

We took the water exhibit and made this page about it

Here I write a description about this picture.

We went through many different use cases for this exhibit and the app fit with most of them.

App Action Photo Gallery

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: