Valle de Oro: Exhibits

The Ice core exhibit that lets you look at different times during Earth's history by interacting with a simulated ice core.

The Ice core exhibit that lets you look at different times during Earth's history by interacting with a simulated ice core.

Galen Spielman, contributor

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by Galen Spielman

One of the most important things that the Valle de Oro does is educate the public on the unique wildlife that lives there. As the restoration continues they plan to build a visitor center at the refuge that will educate visitors about the Valle. NexGen has its own group that is working with the Valle to design exhibits that will be featured in the Valle de Oro visitor center. 

Designing exhibits is no easy task, however. The exhibits group has to do a lot of research to insure that the exhibits are both informative and enjoyable. One of these research methods is public surveys. The exhibits group plans to ask the public what they want to see in an exhibit in the form of a survey. This will allow the Valle to have a better idea of what the public wants to see. But that’s not all that this group is doing.

The Valle is working with Ideum, which is the same company that built the penguin exhibit at the zoo, so the exhibits group went to study what a professionally made exhibit is made of.

The Ice core exhibit that lets you look at different times during Earth’s history by interacting with a simulated ice core.

At the zoo, we walk into the penguin exhibit to examine the different exhibits that the Valle could use. One of the biggest things that we saw was that many of the exhibits were interactive. Exhibits that had you touch and move parts of the exhibits were far more interesting than and informational panels. One of these exhibits is the ice core exhibit. This exhibit allowed you to look at different parts of the ice core and learn about the earth at that time. Other exhibits would have you interact with them too, like a motion control game and a mock ship for you to explore. All these are ways that the penguin exhibit gives you information without having the animal right in front of you, which you can imagine would be helpful for the Valle. There were also plenty of infographics and statue with informational panels. These types of information were cleverly placed throughout the exhibit so to not overburden visitors with boring information. Eventually, we had seen the entire exhibit, which ended with a nice selfie cam.

The amazing view at the mock ship.

After looking at the penguin exhibit the exhibit group now knows that in order for exhibits to work at the Valle de Oro, they need to implement interactive exhibits with more information-driven displays cleverly spread throughout. Otherwise, it will just be a boring place that you would rather not go to.