Resources for Mobile Museum exhibit development
The 2014 and 2015 versions of the Mobile Museum each included three physical exhibits, with a mix of objects (specimens and artifacts) and text panels, and we expect to use a similar layout in 2016--although this could depend on the exhibits selected.
About physical exhibits
A physical exhibit might include mounted objects inside or outside cases, text and graphic panels, small dioramas, interactive elements, video, audio, etc.
We encourage anyone developing a proposal to think creatively about what kinds of elements can best help tell your story. We will help figure out the details--you do not need to know exactly how to create replicas, mount artifacts in cases, or determine the details of case and panel sizes. The combination of panels, cases, and other elements does not have to be the same as last year's--we include the photos below to show what some of the possibilities are.
You should think very carefully about whether to include any objects that are physically delicate, especially if individual objects are critical to the story you want to tell. In particular, if vibrations or shaking, or changes in temperature or humidity, are problematic for your objects, you may want to talk to us about the specifics of the Mobile Museum environment before submitting your proposal. However, we have successfully traveled with a wide range of objects and artifacts, and can probably find a secure way to mount and protect what you want to display.
About digital exhibits
We currently use a software package called Intuiface for our digital exhibits. Intuiface makes the development of touchscreen-based content easy, and it can support powerful and creative interactions. If you're thinking of developing a digital exhibit proposal, we encourage you to look at some of Intuiface's demos and samples to see what kinds of things the software is capable of.
About audio and video
These can be great storytelling tools, and several groups have included them in physical and digital exhibits, either on our big touchscreens or on smaller screens within the main exhibit areas. However, the Mobile Museum can be noisy at times. You should not depend on audio alone, or on the sound in your video, to tell your story on its own--please be prepared to include captions or subtitles where necessary.
The Mobile Museum typically has three physical exhibits, although the layout changes slightly from year to year.
This is an approximation of the layout in 2015:
And this is an approximate sketch of the layout in 2014:
Here's how the 2014 exhibits looked:
Exhibit Area A: Iowa's Ice Age Giants
Exhibit Area B: Glenwood/Iowa's Ancient Agriculturalists
Exhibit Area C: Cornerstones (Iowa & UI history)