Augmenting Museum Visits: Guiding Families to Share in the Learning

The Lawrence Hall of Science is engaging in a three-year project (Institute of Museum and Library Services, Grant #MG-40-18-0005-18) that investigates Augmented Reality (AR) exhibit design through the lens of family-friendly learning design principles. We began by conducting a literature review of AR exhibits to identify the key features that best position families for engaging in learning conversations, resulting in seven principles that can guide the development of AR exhibits. We then applied these principles to the collaborative design of an AR exhibit that will be installed at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Fall 2022 (learn about our design process below). The exhibit, BugtOpia, features life-like 3D models of unique bugs that can be investigated and even fed! The purpose of the exhibit is to leverage the AR technology to engage families in developing empathy with the critters through learning conversations as they explore the 3D models. We are also conducting a study to investigate the relationship between exhibit design features and learning conversations. The study will be conducted at the Lawrence Hall of Science once the exhibit is installed in the Spring of 2023. We are recruiting adult + child (age 7-12) groups of two to participate in the study. To learn more about the study and how to participate please contact Sarah Olsen. To read our recently published literature review, please check out our Visitor Studies journal article

BugtOpia Exhibit Design Process

Resources for exhibit developers