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 we installed at the Lawrence Hall of Science in 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 also conducted a study to investigate how the exhibit supported family learning conversations. To read our recently published literature review, please check out our Visitor Studies journal article

BugtOpia Exhibit Design Process

Resources for exhibit developers