I visited the Discovery Cube and will be using Lindauer’s museum critique to formulate a critique of a hands-on museum. The Cube is a hands-on museum. According to the Cube’s website, their mission is to “inspire and educate young minds through engaging science-based programs and exhibits to create a meaningful impact on the communities [they] serve. ” The museum entrance is located on the street level. This makes the museum feel less grand. Although from the freeway, you can see a giant black cube. black cube which is a signature feature of the museum. That brings a sense of awe to visitors. There is a blocked off path starting from the parking lot reaching the entrance of the building. This is partly due to ongoing construction. It made it easy to find the museum entrance from the parking lot and also kept pedestrians, especially children, safe from vehicles. The line and abundant families reminded me of an amusement park. I think this idea resonated with the visitors as well. Children seemed very excited to go inside and play with the exhibits. I was surprised to see that unlike many other art and cultural museums, there were no fabulous gardens outside the museum or plaques with donors names engraved. The outside walls were painted a variety of rainbow colors. This further indicates that the museum might be more appealing to children and the colors also bring a sense of excitement to visitors. Upon entering the museum, I was slightly disoriented. I was not inside the main exhibit hall but had to head up a flight of stairs to go inside again due to construction. The lighting inside the museum was dim. There was much noise all around and children excitedly running, playing, jumping, talking, and pressing buttons. The main exhibit hall layout was a large square room in the center of the building. It was a little cluttered. There were exhibits within feet of each other. They all seemed to be showing different types of scientific phenomena but there seemed to be little sense to the way they were organized. The floor was carpeted perhaps for children’s safety. It gave a sense of comfort as opposed to the usual stone or wood floors of other museums. The first display I encountered was a seismograph. There was a machine to record the strength of vibrations and a screen on which to see the same results. It was an interactive display. You must stand in front of the screen and jump in order to change the displayed line. Next to the exhibit was a plaque explaining the phenomenon and machine. Many of the other plaques in the museum were formatted the same way. There were three columns of text in 18pt font. It was rather small. The reading level was about sixth or seventh grade, simple to understand. The columns explained what was happening and why. There again seemed to be inconsistency and lack of organization within the museum because some of the text boxes were only in English whereas sometimes they were in English and Spanish. It is probably helpful to residents in the area who are Hispanic but not all exhibits had a translation.
Museum Review: Discovery Cube

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