Comcast Museum Without Walls

In coordination with a grant from the Comcast Foundation, the Institute of Science created a new and engaging museum experience. The Comcast Museum Without Walls initiative  uses new digital content and associated resources that can be accessed online and over the Institute's building-wide high-speed wireless network using smartphones, pad devices and laptops. 

Digital content supports each visitor's unique on-site experience, and provides them with digital resources for use after they depart in an effort to reinforce learning and extend their museum experience. Digital content and associated resources includes:

  • Building maps, detailed exhibition guides, topical curriculum resources and State of Michigan learning benchmarks (sorted by exhibit topic) for teachers;
  • QR codes that link visitors to vetted databases, videos, new articles and content directly related to key contemporary themes reflected in our exhibitions (e.g., global climate change, biodiversity);
  • Internet-based content for students to use before, during and after their visit that includes orientation videos, extended exhibition labels, videos that support complex exhibition content, homework resources sorted by content, and techniques for applying digital technology and accessing digital content in other settings;
  • Images, video and data on Institute objects and specimens not currently on display; 
  • Survey and feedback resources for the Institute.

Specifically, parents will find guides to touring the museum with their children, reading lists organized by age or grade level and museum scavenger hunts. Teachers are able to access quizzes with answer keys, pre/post visit online surveys and tests, and classroom projects and assignments that complement their museum visit. All visitors will have access to real-time digital content and on-line exhibits that complement our traveling exhibits or other collections items. By having their learning and digital literacy development occur in a museum setting (an environment not traditionally known for digitally connecting with visitors), the Institute's visitors will begin to think differently about how their place-based experiences can and should be extended after they leave a particular venue -- museum or otherwise. As a result, we expect visitors will truly start to think and act as "digital citizens."

How Does It Work?

Comcast Museum Without Walls will use ID tags emblazoned with a QR Code. By scanning the QR Code with your smartphone or slate computer, you will be taken to more indepth information regarding the particular item or exhibit you're viewing.

The Comcast Museum Without Walls ID tags look like this:


In the upper left is the Comcast Museum Without Walls logo; the upper right has the title of the item or exhibit this particular tag pertains to; the lower left is a brief description; and the lower right is the QR Code.

Comcast FoundationThis grant from the Comcast Foundation is in recognition of Comcast's commitment to the communities where its customers and employees live and work.  Since its foudning in 1999, the Comcast Foundation has distributed more than $90 million in cash support of programs implemented locally in Comcast communities.