Young Archaeologist and Explorer Society
We crafted an interactive scavenger hunt experience to introduce families to the world of archaeology and its many applications.
Sitting inside a narrative wrapper of the Young Archaeologist and Explorer Society, “recruits” are invited to use a map to go through two challenges and earn their place in the society!
Designed to sit alongside a visiting King Tut exhibit, this edutainment experience tasks guests with completing two scavenger hunts and interacting with educators. The hunt encourages guests to study ancient Egyptian artifacts for clues and invites them to learn about how chemistry, physics, anthropology, and life sciences intersect with archaeology.
The Story of the Society
To help guide guests through our experience, we created Jen Alexandria, the president and founder Young Archaeologist and Explorer Society. Once the leader of a cast of characters, we ultimately made the decision to make her a solitary, friendly voice that would guide guests via friendly, handwritten information.
We created a background for this character and allowed her to inform the build-out of the experience. At one point, the finale had players visiting Jen’s “office” to hear a recorded congratulatory message.
The map is the key and main interactive portion of the experience. We pushed for something tactile and full color, something a guest would be excited to keep afterwards. The front of the map is a smaller experience inside the exhibit, and the back of the map walks guests through a larger hunt that takes place over the entire museum.
The Hall of Explorers
This area not only showcases a selection of diverse archaeologists from history, but it’s also the secret endpoint to the experience. It’s here that guests interact with a touchscreen that welcomes them to the society and invites them to complete a membership certificate.
Our team collaborated with several others to think through the experience from the moment the guest steps in the doors. We playtested several iterations using mockups to make sure the experience was fun and achievable.
While the scavenger hunt is fun, it also ushers guests to specific areas of the museum where they can dive even deeper into learning. At each of these spots, museum educators have built out small experiences to build upon the clues left at each lab.
Our team wanted this experience to be accessible and exciting to everyone so we purposefully worked in strategies from The Exhibit Designs for Girls’ Engagement (EDGE) project, a research study from the Exploratorium (San Francisco). One example of this was to revisit more technical photos and turn them into watercolor sketches which introduced color to the piece and gave it a warmer, hand-made feel.