Web Site Offers Children Hours Of Fun
3, 1999 -- Designed for children, the Virginia
Discovery Museum's new web site offers interactive activities
and projects that can be downloaded for at-home fun.
University of Virginia graduate students, Frank Diller and Ronda
Grogan, redesigned the museum's existing web page to appeal to children,
and if early numbers are any indication, it is a success. The site,
which went on-line in June, attracted 12,000 "hits" or accesses
by individuals during its first month. The sites previous
average was about 1,500 hits per month.
site offers information about current short-term exhibits at the
museum as well as permanent displays. It also describes outreach
programs, lists a calendar of events and provides information on
the Virginia Discovery Museum, a place on the Downtown Mall where
children can engage in hands-on exhibits that explore topics in
the arts, sciences, humanities, nature and history.
site's "Kids" section offers a broad range of activities for children,
aged approximately 2 through 8. Children, for example, can enjoy
a virtual "teddy bear tour" of Showalter Cabin, an authentic 18th
century log building from Rockingham County that is part of the
museum's permanent display. They can also participate in a number
of on-line games or download art projects to complete or drawings
of the museums costumes to color.
and Grogan undertook the redesign of the web site as part of requirements
in a museum education course taught by John Bunch, associate professor
in U.Va.'s Curry School of Education. Both students wanted to create
a site that would interest children. "We wanted to create a site
that would be enjoyable to the majority of museum visitors -- and
their parents," Diller said.
and Grogan, who both completed their masters degree requirements
in the American studies program in August, are most proud of the
sites virtual tour of the cabin. "We focused on that as the
sites showcase, and I think it reflects the time we put into
it," Grogan said.
Bunch and Fenella Belle, exhibit and outreach coordinator at the
museum, agree that the new web page presents an attractive introduction
to the breadth of activities available at the Virginia Discovery
Museum. "The students did a very nice job of applying many of the
learning principles of interactive web design to the museum site,"
more information, contact Ronda Grogan through Aug. 7 at (804) 245-8032
or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank Diller can be reached through Aug. 5 at (804) 984-4973 or
John Bunch is at (804) 924-0834 or email@example.com,
and Fenella Belle is at (804) 977-1025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857.