The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology Employs Unteractivity to Engage and Teach Visitors
The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (NTM) in Oslo is Norway’s national museum for science, technology, industry, transportation and medicine. The museum’s objective is to demonstrate the implications of progress in science and technology, socially and culturally, through the ages. The museum is an educational institution with collections, exhibitions, publications and other activities, which makes it a place of learning for all. Through its collections and exhibits it chronicles the development of Norway from an agrarian society to a complex industrial society. The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology is one of Norway’s most visited museums; popular for families as well as school classes. The museum is about 20,000 square meters and covers 4 different floors.
In an effort to make the exhibitions more engaging, the museum decided to employ interactive digital information screens. The museum’s goal is to encourage audience enthusiasm and stimulate learning.
The solution proposed for the museum was to use Scala to create an interactive experience for the audience in both the “Climate X” exhibition and in the Science Center.
Spectacular effects are used in this exhibition to show the causes and effects of global warming. The exhibition raises questions about our political choices, consumer behavior and technology development. The visitors wear special rubber boots when entering the exhibition, as the floor is covered with 10 cm of water to illustrate the effect of increasing sea level. Various relevant questions are displayed on the projector screen concerning global warming issues.The audience is encouraged to involve themselves and provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer by stepping on a red or green footprint embedded in the water. After a few seconds, the answers are compiled and displayed on the projector screen, citing the number of participants and the percentage of correct answers. The fact that the footprints (triggers) were embedded in water made the installation a unique challenge.
The Science Center uses Scala at two exhibits. One exhibit includes an interactive water-pump installation that demonstrates energy creation through waterpower. Visitors follow on-screen instructions to pump water. When completed the screen displays the amount of energy created and how the energy can be employed.
Another exhibit emulates an interactive weather station where visitors can experience various occurrences of extreme weather. The visitor uses a touch screen, showing different examples of extreme weather. The resulting weather is displayed on a big screen surrounded by mirrors to enhance the effect.
“The highlight of the exhibit was the ability to deploy a topically relevant digital information solution in a demanding exhibition environment,” says Eytor Sigurbergsson, consultant in Eytor Interaktiv Media. “The Scala digital signage platform contributed to the success of the deployment by providing critical functionality to accommodate the unique requirements of the exhibit.”
Adding interactivity to the museum’s exhibitions has opened up a new realm of opportunities for the museum.
Through better awareness of the relevant global warming issues, visitors are challenged to take better stewardship of the planet.