Header image  


dynaMix is designed to make technology and science accessible to non-technical visitors. It is specifically geared towards middle and high school youth to maintain their interest in these fields through a crucial period in their development by using the "cool factor" of mixing musical clips and the fun of dancing with readily available web-cams and free software to allow youth to create their own take-home versions of the museum experience

Significant Learning Features

Based on the natural interest children and adolescents have in dance, and music, dynaMix will engage youth in the excitement of discovering that their own movement triggers and controls music.

Based on solid learning principles, dynaMix will offer:

  • Interactive learning approaches to allow active learning from the start;
  • Interactive museum-space and a complementary project website to facilitate cooperative learning at the museum and for the larger social learning network;
  • A multimedia experience to promote varied learning modalilities to meet a variety of individual learning needs;
  • A simple, intuitive user-interface to engage non-technical participants;
  • Ability-neutral design to engage a variety of ages and abilities;
  • Multiple learning formats to provide opportunity for deeper engagement and learning.

Experiential Learning.

In addition to the primary museum experience, participants will be exposed to the design process on-site through workstations allowing them to change the music, the motion detection algorithms, and adjust the correspondence of motion between cameras. The dynamic visual displays of musical notation will allow seeing as well as hearing moment-to-moment music. Even non-readers of music will see how musical texture varies with the amount of movement in the room- the rhythms become more animated-melodies use more notes- the musical register expands- and instrumentation becomes more varied. dynaMix will offer a glimpse into how these fundamental concepts shape a piece of music.

Contributions to the field of digital media-learning include:

  • First experience for many museum-goers of such an innovative blend of technology and art
  • Opportunity for in-depth learning to motivate future learning
  • Carry over to the larger community via parental participation and a website
  • Participants' on-site control of components and home installation set-ups will de-mystify the technology and interest youth in experimentation
  • Transformation of network learning experiences from passive into active

Anticipated Impacts Include Enhanced:

  • Understanding of sonification process
  • Enthusiasm for using technology to create music
  • Interest in continued learning via the web-based peer-learning network

Who Project Will Impact:

Estimated Participation based on annual museum attendance rates:

  • Children and adolescents ~60%
  • Parents, teachers and older learners ~40%,
  • 60% female and 22% minority
  • Total estimate of 286,000 visitors from April 2008 to January 2009
  • Additional website dissemination to 300,000 individuals.

dynaMix Evaluation Plan

  • Evaluated jointly by the Museum of Life and Science (MLS) and Duke evaluators
  • Prior to opening, Museum staff and Duke evaluators will assess dynaMix by interviewing visitor groups
  • SoundStudio and Stations will be subjected to 3-4 prototyping/evaluation cycles
  • In the early iterations, evaluators will assist and question visitors while using dynaMix activities (cue-mediated interviews).
  • After refinement, evaluators will allow visitors to engage in activities undisturbed and collect data via post-use interviews
  • Exhibit will be observed using naturalistic observations to determine typical use and holding power of the Studio and exhibit Stations.
  • Concepts assessed will cover level of engagement, enjoyment, learning inspired by the activities, usability/interest in the activities, and understanding of exhibit concepts
  • An online survey will be built into Sound Stations to obtain user feedback on content learned and ratings of exhibit

In the Duke Studio now: