Small Museum Research Collaborative: Exhibit-based Outreach

September 22nd, 2005 - June 30th, 2010 | PROJECT

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), in collaboration with the Small Museum Research Collaborative (SMRC), proposes to create four small bilingual exhibitions in English and Spanish for a national tour to small museums. The exhibitions will focus on current clinical research in nutrition and physical activity and its applications to personal and family wellness. We propose to build four, 700-square-foot traveling exhibitions: two identical exhibitions with a focus on nutrition, and two identical exhibitions with a focus on physical activity. OMSI's SMRC partners bring the experiences and resources of five geographically and thematically diverse small museums to this project. As the lead institution, OMSI brings over 19 years of experience in creating and touring national exhibitions and in collaborative projects with other museums. Front-end, formative, remedial, and summative evaluation will be conducted with family audiences at OMSI and SMRC sites. To extend the visitor experience, OMSI and SMRC will produce related educational materials and programs including a Web site, teachers' guides, small museum staff training, distance-learning programs, and interactive presentations. An SMRC distance-learning network will be created for program dissemination. The project will be developed with the support of local research scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and other experts in nutrition and fitness research, health care, and education. The project's audience is family and K-5 school group visitors to small science and children's museums in rural and small urban communities nationwide. Latino families are also a priority audience for the project. Each of the four traveling exhibitions will tour to three venues a year for a minimum of eight years. We conservatively estimate that over two million people will visit the exhibitions during their national tours. This project presents a powerful opportunity to reach museum visitors in rural and underserved communities, to invite families to pursue healthy nutrition and physical activity together, and to present and interpret clinical research findings for diverse audiences.

Project Website(s)

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Project Products

Team Members

Victoria Coats, Principal Investigator, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry
Marilyn Johnson, Principal Investigator, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry


Funding Source: NIH
Award Number: R25RR022741


Access and Inclusion: Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities | Rural
Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Families | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Health and medicine
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits