Match the Moon!

Project

I designed this interactive for the Planetarium Queue at the Maryland Science Center.  It’s super-simple: there are two large wheels on the front.  The left wheel has images of six planets; the right wheel has images of six moons.  The visitor rotates the left wheel to select a planet and then the right wheel to select the corresponding moon.  When a selection has been made on each wheel, the “Check Answer” button on the control panel illuminates.  Upon pressing the button, the visitor will discover if he is “Correct!” or if he should “Try Again!”.  Even thought this interactive is simple, it garnered high dwell times during prototyping.

Here is a picture of the prototype.

Challenges

Three problems revealed themselves very quickly during prototyping:

1)  The wheels on the first prototype spun very freely, so some visitors simply stood in front of the exhibit and spun the wheels as fast as they could.

2)  The circuit that determined whether or not the visitor had picked the right answer was controlled by a simple Elk relay.  But those relays are very LOUD.  The visitor could determine the correct answer by simply listening for the relay click.

3)  Getting the visitor to use the “Check Answer” button.

Solutions

Wheels

Circuit

Check Answer