Science museums are popular places for children and families to feel intimacy toward science and learn on their own preferences. Science museums are, however, have exhibits that are often difficult for the kindergarteners and lower elementary graders to understand the concepts and thus are not utilized well. This circumstance results in children interacting mainly with hands‐on exhibits and discovery rooms for toddlers and lower graders. This research investigated the possibility of coloring to enhance children's experience in looking at the exhibits. It is one of the practical parts of Ogawa's research project focusing on nurturing science literacy throughout generations. The entire research project defines four aspects of science literacy: sensitivity; scientific knowledge and skills; scientific thinking, attitudes, decision‐making; and application to social context and communication, and sets a rationale for this research that coloring pictures is quite popular in many countries thus a effective method in communication among generation.

This research consisting of three program modules focuses mainly on nurturing people's sensitivity toward nature and science through the program. The goal of this practical research is to nurture children's sensitivity toward science by facilitating their discoveries and enjoyments through engagement in the exhibits during the coloring programs.

1 Digital picturing of dinosaurs We conducted a program with mixed reality technology in a museum in order to enhance young visitors' experience by looking deeply at the exhibits. The program was conducted for the dinosaur gallery at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Japan. A computer with a camera allows the users to reconstruct the flesh of the dinosaur that is on display in the gallery. The superimposed images are interactive 3‐D computer graphics with mixed reality technology. Observation and choice of the skin image enable the children to think more scientifically about dinosaurs. We have developed a prototype of a computer program that enables users to draw their own dinosaurs over the skeleton and save them on the web. The users can superimpose their own dinosaur skin over the dinosaur skeleton at the museum and view it with mixed reality technology.

2 Creating original pictures for coloring by using cell phones This program focused on coloring using cell phones, which are very common among most Japanese. The participants took pictures of exhibits they like using their cell phone. They emailed it from their cell phone to the research station, and the server computer converted their pictures to computer drawing and emailed it back to each of the participants. After that, they received the printout of the drawing and engaged in coloring. Each of the coloring processes such as which exhibit the participants choose, which angle they take pictures from, and how they draw the picture with reality relates to detailed observation, possibly resulting in unexpected discovery from the target exhibit.

3 Collaborative coloring of marine creatures This program focused on coloring of marine creatures that most Japanese are familiar not only from museums or aquaria but also marine activities and Japanese meals. Even though they are familiar with those creatures, the opportunity to learn about the details of the body structure is limited. This coloring program was developed collaboratively with an aquarium and is expected to enhance the discoveries in marine creatures and bridge between science and the daily life.

Evaluation of the programs Evaluation of these programs showed that the program broadened the participant's perspectives of science and facilitated their interest toward science and science museums. These results imply that the coloring, which is popular all over the world, has a certain role to enhance intimacy toward science in museum settings.

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Coloring in pictures at science museum
Facilitating sensitivity toward science in a creative way

Hiroyuki Arita‐Kikutani   National Museum of Nature and Science

Yoshikazu Ogawa   National Museum of Nature and Science

Tomotsugu Kondo   National Institute of Multimedia Education

Atsushi Kasao   Tokyo Politechnic University

Koji Takada   Marine World Umino‐nakamichi

Midori Takahashi – National Museum of Nature and Science

Science museums are popular places for children and families to feel intimacy toward science and learn on their own preferences. Science museums are, however, have exhibits that are often difficult for the kindergarteners and lower elementary graders to understand the concepts and thus are not utilized well. This circumstance results in children interacting mainly with hands‐on exhibits and discovery rooms for toddlers and lower graders. This research investigated the possibility of coloring to enhance children's experience in looking at the exhibits. It is one of the practical parts of Ogawa's research project focusing on nurturing science literacy throughout generations. The entire research project defines four aspects of science literacy: sensitivity; scientific knowledge and skills; scientific thinking, attitudes, decision‐making; and application to social context and communication, and sets a rationale for this research that coloring pictures is quite popular in many countries thus a effective method in communication among generation.

This research consisting of three program modules focuses mainly on nurturing people's sensitivity toward nature and science through the program. The goal of this practical research is to nurture children's sensitivity toward science by facilitating their discoveries and enjoyments through engagement in the exhibits during the coloring programs.

1 Digital picturing of dinosaurs We conducted a program with mixed reality technology in a museum in order to enhance young visitors' experience by looking deeply at the exhibits. The program was conducted for the dinosaur gallery at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Japan. A computer with a camera allows the users to reconstruct the flesh of the dinosaur that is on display in the gallery. The superimposed images are interactive 3‐D computer graphics with mixed reality technology. Observation and choice of the skin image enable the children to think more scientifically about dinosaurs. We have developed a prototype of a computer program that enables users to draw their own dinosaurs over the skeleton and save them on the web. The users can superimpose their own dinosaur skin over the dinosaur skeleton at the museum and view it with mixed reality technology.

2 Creating original pictures for coloring by using cell phones This program focused on coloring using cell phones, which are very common among most Japanese. The participants took pictures of exhibits they like using their cell phone. They emailed it from their cell phone to the research station, and the server computer converted their pictures to computer drawing and emailed it back to each of the participants. After that, they received the printout of the drawing and engaged in coloring. Each of the coloring processes such as which exhibit the participants choose, which angle they take pictures from, and how they draw the picture with reality relates to detailed observation, possibly resulting in unexpected discovery from the target exhibit.

3 Collaborative coloring of marine creatures This program focused on coloring of marine creatures that most Japanese are familiar not only from museums or aquaria but also marine activities and Japanese meals. Even though they are familiar with those creatures, the opportunity to learn about the details of the body structure is limited. This coloring program was developed collaboratively with an aquarium and is expected to enhance the discoveries in marine creatures and bridge between science and the daily life.

Evaluation of the programs Evaluation of these programs showed that the program broadened the participant's perspectives of science and facilitated their interest toward science and science museums. These results imply that the coloring, which is popular all over the world, has a certain role to enhance intimacy toward science in museum settings.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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