With funding from NIH SEPA, OMSI is creating a mid-sized travelling exhibition that will promote public understanding of neuroscience research and its relevance to healthy brain development in early childhood.
The purpose of this report is to support the project team by assessing the extent to which the prototype activities, content, and labels tested contributed to visitor engagement, understanding, confidence, and future use of one or more strategies outlined. It was important to the project team that the exhibition be developed in collaboration with the communities for whom it is intended; therefore, data for this phase were collected from three audiences, including 1) general museum visitors, 2) Metropolitan Family Service—Ready, Set, Go! families, and 3) early childhood educators. Four methods were used to gather data: observation, interviews, focus group discussions, and surveys.
Analysis of the data collected from the three audiences suggests that the prototypes tested have great potential to meet the project’s goals of engaging families and caregivers and communicating messages around brain development and playful interactions. Given that the formative evaluation tested only three prototypes during a specific time period and included small sample sizes and specific contextual parameters, findings should not be interpreted as directly generalizable to other situations or audiences.
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