Developed by the Nova Scotia Interpretive Working Group as an “introduction, a personal development tool, a training tool, a resource, or a point of inspiration” for the 28 Nova Scotia Museum sites, the toolbox is a comprehensive resource with many applications for program design and facilitation. Copyright Nova Scotia Museum. Sections include: Activities are Object-Based “Good Questions” […]
In her Museum 2.0 blog, Nina Simon asks, “How do we find the RIGHT questions for visitor participation?” She discusses what are the “right” and “wrong” questions to ask, how to develop the “right” questions, and offers three concrete examples from various institutions. The discussion in the comments section is quite useful as well. Read […]
Think about not only hands-on, but also minds-on (intellectual and emotional) engagement. Active participation is more than simply a “do.” Hands-on elements should be used to get participants thinking and understanding your content.
Science museums often seek to create open-ended, interactive exhibits designed to support visitors in conducting scientific inquiry. Visitors, however, do not always have the skills or previous knowledge needed to perform in-depth investigations to answer certain scientific questions.
From the Art Museum Teaching blog: “Recently, the use of questions in art museum teaching has been questioned. In their book, Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation as Experience, Rika Burnham and Elliot Kai-Kee wonder ‘why we ask questions at all.’
Abstract: “We describe a study of programs to deepen families’ scientific inquiry practices in a science museum setting. The programs incorporated research-based learning principles from formal and informal educational environments. In a randomized experimental design, two versions of the programs, called Inquiry Games, were compared to two control conditions. Inquiry behaviors were videotaped and compared […]
In this presentation, Gail Ringel offers advice for including family learning exhibit techniques in your museum while maintaining your institutional identity.
Why should I use this technique? Rather than limiting the flow of information from museum to visitor, comment boards or books offer visitors an opportunity to share their thoughts and state their opinions. It moves an exhibition closer to a discussion rather than simply a presentation from an all-knowing authority.
Why should I use this technique? A flipbook or questioning interactive is simple, cheap, engaging and effective. Families sit, smile and converse, laughing and learning together. It can be used to foreshadow exhibit elements, and it invites the audience to pause for a moment and consider the experience ahead.