science centers & museums
Inspector Training Course: Vectors
Discovery Cube Orange County
Santa Ana, California
The Inspector Training Course (ITC) is the second exhibit of its kind, a follow-up to the award-winning ITC exhibit at the Discovery Cube museum in Los Angeles. With a tablet PC as their guide, kids explore a fully themed backyard, while responding to prompts and questions presented onscreen. In ITC Orange County, kids step into the role of Orange County Vector Inspector and set out to keep mosquitos, rats, fire ants, and other nasty houseguests from showing up uninvited. The freshly recruited Vector Inspectors track down standing water, ripped up window screens, unsecured waste, and any other problems that can cause vectors to spread.
A sophisticated position tracking system, also used by the NFL to track players on the football field, keeps the game engine updated on where each tablet is located. This means ITC can keep on-screen information relevant, and keep kids moving through the environment, exposing them to multiple points of interest and learning opportunities. A high speed wireless network binds the tablets, tracking system, and game engine together. The network also allows us to integrate the set into gameplay. For example, when kids are asked about what happens to standing water in a hot tub, the kids can press a button on their tablet and watch the hot tub change in front of them!
The innovative ITC exhibit addresses several challenges facing modern museums. First, data logging allows the museum to keep tabs on important metrics, such as how many visitors go through the exhibit, and how many questions they get right, in addition to time of engagement. Second, time of engagement is very high for a museum exhibit, with players at the Los Angeles museum actively participating for around 15 minutes. And of course, this exhibit allows museums to leverage their most important advantage over interactive media – their physical space! A beautifully themed environment, combined with the tracking system and ITC game software, gives the museum an experience that cannot be replicated on a computer or movie screen alone.
Beaudry Interactive designed the gameplay, interface, and the game infrastructure at the heart of the exhibit. We also produced the animations that play in the exhibit kiosks and created the databases and logging systems that provide the exhibit analytics.
About the Museum
Discovery Cube Orange County is a children’s science museum developed by the Discovery Science Foundation. Opened in Nov. 1998, it features over 100 hands-on exhibits and hosts more than half a million visitors each year. Its science-based exhibits seek to further the Discovery Science Foundation’s goals of promoting STEM proficiency, early learning, healthy living, and environmental stewardship.