Students of the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar tested their skills by designing a hypothetical Children’s museum in Qatar, targeting children aged five to 12, as part of their senior class projects.
Fourteen Senior Interior Design students had to work on the project, designing exhibit stations to draw attention to nutrition, which is a concern in the region given the rate of increasing obesity among children.
The goal was to design a station that would broaden children’s awareness of the world of possibilities while also providing awareness of basic scientific principles.
The students were asked to create an experimental learning experience - spaces where children could improve themselves intellectually. They also had to keep the design aspect in mind: use materials with textures and patterns that were child-friendly and invited interaction.
The stations had to be collapsible and use acoustic control, lighting applications and air filters. They also needed to have appropriate graphics that children could comprehend without the use of words. Munira Al Tamimi’s exhibit station had interactive games teaching children aged nine to 12 about red and white blood cells. There was a blood drop shaped slide as well to make it fun for the children.
In Dana Riad’s ‘Spin & Stamp’ station, children had recipes according to which they would stamp their plate with ingredients, teaching younger children about nutritious food.
In Maya Abushaher’s ‘Uchamp’ station, children were given a device similar to a tamagotchi toy and they would have to go to the different stations in the museum to keep the character alive and healthy, thereby learning the effects of dehydration, nutrition, exercise, etc at the various stations.
Hissa Al Muhannadi’s ‘Inbody Flight’ station was modeled after a planetarium and children would be on simulators learning and experiencing the effects of things like smoking on the lungs, for instance. Sara Ahmed Al Ishaq’s station had an interactive floor stomping game directed by a 3D holographic character. Two children would be competing against each other to win a quiz.
Jameka Williams’ ‘Food Pyramid’ and Kinh Elizabeth Ai’s stations had kids go on a treasure hunt where the winner would be the one that picked up the healthiest food.
Maryam Mohammed Al Kuwari’s ‘El-Ezbah’ (The Gold Museum), Miriam Greiss’ ‘Fishing’ activity and Gabriela Leon Nava’s ‘Legend’ train ride all included tunnels and rides where children could get nutrition tips from characters they met, watch informative videos in the tunnels and then move to the text level where they got to test what they learned through an interactive game.
Aysha Al Saai’s ‘Talking Door’ revolved around tunnels and doors teaching children about the various traditional spices and how they needed to be stored.
Buthayna Al-Thawadi’s ‘Cook it Healthy’, Noor M. Al Thani’s ‘Moderation’ and Sozan Morsi’s stations again had children competing with each other in games that tested who could cook the most dishes in 20 minutes to finding out who came out of games looking malnourished, obese or moderate.
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