THE VIRTUAL ARIZONA EXPERIENCE: THE LAND
The Arizona Experience (www.arizonaexperience.org) was initially intended to serve as the web presence for the museum, but the site has quickly developed an identity of its own as an interactive, multimedia experience, reaching a wider audience with functions that would be difficult or expensive to produce in a museum. As leaders in scientific and technological innovation in the state, the Arizona Geological Survey was tasked with designing and creating the Arizona Experience site. The general themes remain the same; however, the site has added content and applications that are better suited to the online environment in order to create a rich, dynamic supplement to a physical museum experience. The website offers the features and displays of the future museum with the interactive nature and learning environment of the web. This provides an encyclopedic overview of the State of Arizona by subject matter experts in a manner that is free and open to the public and erases socio-economic, political, and physical boundaries.
The materials developed for the site originate from content experts across the state, including academic institutions, historical societies, museums, and professional associations. Currently there are over 300 content providers contributing resources, data, and videos to the site. In addition, K-12 educators are involved in using the site content and cutting edge technology to develop classroom STEM related-content linked to Arizona Dept. of Education curriculum subject areas. This presentation introduces users to the Arizona Experience, particularly the innovative geoscience teaching tools released as part of Arizona’s land theme.