Gamification in Scientific Museum: Lateral Thinking approach (LS-ME-588)

This Learning Scenario allows participants to learn about historical techniques and survey tools from the Ancient Age to the 19th century into a science museum. Using specific strategies belonging to Lateral Thinking, participants interact in cooperative learning approaches to set up a treasure hunt game.

How did our grandparents and great-grandparents measure distances, and angles?

Nowadays, people can answer these questions that are offered thanks to a visit to Museo Michelangelo. Participants are addressed to the discovery of 8-10 ancient tools and to the investigation procedures by a short guided tour. Then, they research information with cooperative exploration and online tools for gamification to build a game concerning these topics.

Teodolite, by Giuseppe Spano and son, Napoli, 1868

Activity phases

  • Museum knowledge: The educator leads the participants to these fundamental concepts in 10 minutes, during an onsite visit or a virtual one (available on the Museo Michelangelo website).
  • Creative process: Using Lateral Thinking strategies, participants generate a lot of ideas to plan and design the game. This activity offers a significant occasion to improve soft skills in participants/learners.
  • Selection process: This phase is devoted to deep thinking about how to arrange and organize the treasure game with respect to tests and the ability involved for the selected potential public. Participants search and pick up specific contents thanks to Europeana and other external resources (provided by Museum).
  • Implementation: Using selected software/apps and “treasure words”, participants must arrange content and test (crossword, puzzle game, storytelling, interactive scientific laboratory for the ability test) and set up buttons into a virtual tour of the museum specifically devoted to the treasure game.
  • Evaluation: The participant /learners participate in a focus group to evaluate results and player’s comments.

The generated treasure hunt game

The LS is designed to be implemented either within a museum setting or online (freely playable: treasure hunt game).

Remarks and feedbacks

We collected participants’ feedback using two strategies: a detailed anonymous webform (with a survey based on closed, either quantitative or defined answers) and a brief focus group session (10 min, at the end of the activity).

I enjoyed experimenting with the power of Lateral Thinking procedures to generate original ideas.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland.

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