Museum interactive exhibits engage visitors if you make it clear what the exhibit is all about and make it easy to use.
The Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton, Ohio has a museum interactive that shows how the Wright Brother's wing warping concept controls the wings on a biplane enabling it to turn. When the visitor moves a U shaped control the pilot in the model biplane moves his hips to the right or the left. The hip crade moves wires connected to it which causes one end of the wings to twist in one direction and the other end of the wings to twist in the opposite direction. This enables the pilot to bank and turn.
How do you focus museum visitors on the point that the Wright Brothers knew from racing bicycles on a banked oval wood track that flying in the air in three directions would be very difficult to control? The following exhibit with one handlebar used to control a 12" long bicycle in only two directions and another handlebar used to control a 12" wide glider in three directions lets the visitor experience how much more difficult it is to control a glider in three directions than a bicycle in two directions.
Museum interactive exhibits need to be user friendly to work best. Exhibit designer Jeff Kennedy wrote an excellent 77 page book called "User Friendly Hands-On Exhibits That Work" which is available from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC). Look in the Exhibits section of the ASTC publications at http://astc.org/pubs/browse_publications.htm#exhibits .
If you would like information on having a museum interactive exhibit fabricated contact us at Model Builders, Inc. 773-586-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Let us know below in the comments what your favorite museum interactive exhibit is and what museum it is located in.