With the aim of getting students interested in STEM careers, the team at a Victorian museum enlisted the help of teenagers when creating their exhibition, Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen. It opened at Scienceworks this year and is filled with immersive experiences, presenting real-world STEM content to visitors with a particular focus on what’s invisible in Science. Experience Developer David Perkins ensured there were strong Victorian curriculum links, spanning from Year 7 to Year 12. In today’s Q&A we hear from Perkins who explains the whole process in detail, as well as Tanya Kovacevic, a student who was consulted on how to make the exhibition as appealing and engaging for teenagers as possible.
How long does it typically take, from start to finish, to prepare an exhibition like this? What’s the process? What do you need to consider?
David Perkins: There was a team of people working for about two-and-a-half years, but in that time they developed two permanent exhibitions – Ground Up, and Beyond Perception, and one winter exhibition called Test Lab. There is a lot that goes into the development – generally there are three stages: concept development, developed design, and production. During concept development, a team of people does research and evaluation to come up with an idea of what they want to make. Then developed design is a lot of 2D and 3D design, content research, digital media production, etcetera. And then, when they move into production, they get carpenters and electricians, and so on, in to build the walls, wire it all up, paint everything, lay the carpeting, hang the signage, organise lighting etcetera. There’s a lot that goes into it, it’s a really big endeavour that has to be safe for the public to use, and easy to maintain and clean, as well as interesting to visit.
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