Modern exhibitions at museums of natural history and natural science are no longer just showcases supplied with extensive texts and long explanations. Instead the trend is to design exhibitions with interactive displays, animations and films in order to both engage and entertain the visitor in the field of natural sciences.

The main mediation strategy at the Natural History Museum of Denmark follows this interactive trend with special exhibitions and special events with activities that use modern techniques and interactive elements for visualising the natural history stories and new research results in natural sciences.

But at the same time we question whether interactivity equals activity ‐ whether interactive elements also are the highlights of the museum experience. We therefore try out and experiment with new and different mediation methods. An example is the creation of a peaceful corner of the exhibition, where the visitor can seek a more personal or individual museum experience, as well as being his own scientist. Here is literature, microscopes and a huge selection of skulls, bones, insects, plants, minerals, etc. all meant to be used by both children and adults, hereby giving them the opportunity to explore and discuss topics of natural science and to stimulate their curiosity.

The educational methods at the Natural History Museum of Denmark also follow these thoughts and aim to inspire pupils how to observe, detect and discover in order to stimulate the ability to ask questions and strengthen the ability to formulate hypotheses, design experiments and critically evaluate research results.

The presentation will discuss these strategies in further detail supplied with examples from both the exhibition and the educational forum.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Does interactivity equal activity and good museum experiences ?

Rikke Danø   Natural History Museum of Denmark

Modern exhibitions at museums of natural history and natural science are no longer just showcases supplied with extensive texts and long explanations. Instead the trend is to design exhibitions with interactive displays, animations and films in order to both engage and entertain the visitor in the field of natural sciences.

The main mediation strategy at the Natural History Museum of Denmark follows this interactive trend with special exhibitions and special events with activities that use modern techniques and interactive elements for visualising the natural history stories and new research results in natural sciences.

But at the same time we question whether interactivity equals activity ‐ whether interactive elements also are the highlights of the museum experience. We therefore try out and experiment with new and different mediation methods. An example is the creation of a peaceful corner of the exhibition, where the visitor can seek a more personal or individual museum experience, as well as being his own scientist. Here is literature, microscopes and a huge selection of skulls, bones, insects, plants, minerals, etc. all meant to be used by both children and adults, hereby giving them the opportunity to explore and discuss topics of natural science and to stimulate their curiosity.

The educational methods at the Natural History Museum of Denmark also follow these thoughts and aim to inspire pupils how to observe, detect and discover in order to stimulate the ability to ask questions and strengthen the ability to formulate hypotheses, design experiments and critically evaluate research results.

The presentation will discuss these strategies in further detail supplied with examples from both the exhibition and the educational forum.

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

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