Science on the Sphere: Formative Evaluation for Pacific Science Center

Date: 
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Resource Type:
Formative | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Interview Protocol | Observation Protocol | Coding Schema | Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Planetarium and Science on a Sphere, Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
Audience: 
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Discipline: 
Geoscience and geography | Space science
Organization:
University of Washington | Pacific Science Center, University of Washington
Description: 

This evaluation examines visitor engagement at the “Science On a Sphere” (SOS) exhibit at Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA. Evaluators varied characteristics of the data presentation—such as topic presented, presence of a question prompt, and image rotation—and measured the resulting visitor engagement for each of the different treatments. Furthermore, the evaluation examined visitors’ interest in the SOS exhibit, as well as the extent to which visitors connect the exhibit to surrounding exhibits. This study examines different treatments to the SOS exhibit to determine the presentation elements that affect visitor engagement and interest with the exhibit without the use of interpreters. The team addressed the following evaluation questions: (1) Which presentation elements engage visitors most effectively? (2) What is the nature of visitor engagement with the SOS and its space during the auto-run program? (3) What are visitors most interested in seeing? (4) To what extent are visitors making a connection between the sphere and the surrounding exhibits/ programs? The team collected observational data during presentation of twelve playlists on the sphere, each created with different combinations of the variables listed above. Follow-up interviews were used to determine visitors’ reported engagement and interest. The reflective map and interviews were used to explore possible connections made by visitors between the SOS exhibit and surround exhibits. Appendix includes instruments.

Funder(s): 
IMLS

Team Members

Dylan HighDylan HighEvaluator
Ellie KleinwortEllie KleinwortEvaluator
Travis WindleharthTravis WindleharthEvaluator

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