« Explicit Desires and Motivations? Not Everything. | Main | The Role of Children's Museums »

June 08, 2012


Janis Nostbakken

Can't wait to read about your findings. Especially interested in finding ways to deliver meaning to both kids and their accompanying adults. Too many children's museums are reduced to play stations, the equivalent of indoor playgrounds, in my estimation. We all know the importance of play, but what about content? Before the age of museums specifically designed for children, we grew up visiting plain old museums and found a way to be delighted, engaged and passionate about return visits. Have we gone too far in creating kid-centered experiences? Have we underestimated the intellectual capacity of children? Have we failed to deliver opportunities for old and young to share special moments inside the museum walls and even virtually online? Important work you are doing.

Susie Wilkening, Reach Advisors

These are great questions, Janis. I grew up before the proliferation of both children's museums and science centers, and was one of those delighted kids anyway. Yet I probably would have loved the interactive nature of children's museums and science centers as well.

We asked ourselves questions similar to those you raise, and purposefully structured the relevant questions in our surveys to not take a position on any of this, but to gather what people have found meaningful and memorable. (Note - we are not looking at learning outcomes, which is a totally different subject!)

Thanks for the comment.


My research proposal -An investigation into experiential factors that influence visitors participation and immersion in science centre context. Words like memorable, theming, visitors physical and emotional value., scenography ,creative process,etc yet to be explored. Hope to learn a lot from the expert! Thank You.

Alan Burrows .... Treasurer, Lady Denman Heritage Complex Inc.

The Lady Denman Heritage Complex Inc. ... or Maritime Museum (www.ladydenman.asn.au) is a prize winning regional museum and cultural centre for the people of the Jervis Bay region of the south coast of New South Wales, Australia and every other person we can persuade to come and experience our history, heritage and our art. 30+ years old we are also seeking to better understand the current stimulus for young and old to want to explore the collection, local history, local indigenous people, Exhibitions (both museum and cultural based). As an example we currently have an exhibition of model boats .. ho hum .. except that we also had a model boat builder working on his latest creation and more than willing to chat with anyone interested + as part of the See Change art festival (www.jervisbayarts.asn.au) we had an amazing collection of childrens art titled Trash and Treasure (http://www.jervisbayarts.asn.au/?page_id=539).. the imagination displayed in a vast array of works was breath taking.
But like many other regional museums/cultural centres we have yet to re-understand the needs and perhaps unstated desires of our visitors. Those who spend the time to roam and read are astounded ... others look and ponder the cost of entry and decide that the spacious grounds offer a sufficient stimulus.
We wait with great impatience for you to unfold the results of your most recent survey

The comments to this entry are closed.