Critical Issues-Based Exhibitions
Historically, science centers and science museums have emphasized cultural heritage through artifacts, collections, object displays, and curiosity cabinets – extolling the wonders of science to the public. Over time, however, exhibitions have evolved to include more hands-on components. Visitors interact with exhibits, by a combination of manipulating, reading, pushing, pulling, and generally using their senses. Information is typically structured through engaging, interactive displays.
A number of different typologies for mapping exhibitions have been proposed by researchers. For example, Wellington (1998) describes two types of exhibits (that are not mutually exclusive) usually found at the science center: experiential and pedagogical. The experiential exhibition allows the visitor to experience, and perhaps interact with, phenomena (e.g, soap bubbles,...