To explore how added interactivity could improve various social or educational aspects to the natural history museum
Cultivating Futures is an interactive physical environment that teachers children ages 6-12 about future career possibilities in science. Digital projection, sensors, and chat bot technologies make up the core of this concept.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Six week project for Interaction Design Studio course
Jeffrey Chou, Devika Khowala
Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, XD
- Focused our efforts on the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s (CMNH) Anthropocene exhibit – We Are Nature – a showcase of man’s effect on the environment.
- Our ream felt that the CMNH exhibit did a great job showing proof of what is happening to the earth, but did not do a great job of empowering museum patrons to take action. We were interested in adding to this in some way.
- The exhibit does have an area for reflection and for some children’s activities after the evidence section. This might be an appropriate place to work.
- The focus for our project became exploring how we could use the space in this exhibit to teach children about possible future careers in science.
- We devised a system that utilized digital projection to project a landscape on the floor. Sensors would detect where children were walking. When the user stepped on one of the five raised circles, a question would be projected on to the floor. The user would then step on the answer that he or she chose. The questions would be a “personality test” of sorts, that aims to piece together what areas of science the user has interests in.
- After the fifth and final question, one of eight career choices would be chosen for the user. They then would step up to a monitor that would engage him or her in a mock conversation with an actual scientist.
- To make this work, the system would be set up comparable to that of a chatbot. In this case, it would be a chatbot that utilizes text to speech and speech recognition.
- Video of scientists addressing a child would be recorded of scientist in each field. Communicating with what is perceived to be face to face with a real person would be a much more powerful experience then a message.