Paper No. 65-7
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM
INTEGRATING 3D PRINTING AND GEOSCIENCES TO VISITOR EXPERIENCES AT THE RUTGERS UNIVERSITY GEOLOGY MUSEUM
The Rutgers University Geology Museum (RUGM) is a free natural history museum located in the heart of the New Brunswick campus and is committed to serving all of its visitors. The museum offers an array of educational programs such as Late Night events, guided tours, and an annual Open House. The RUGM sees close to 10,000 visitors every year, including preschoolers, K-12 students and all age families in general. Recent efforts have been made to incorporate new resources that have been created through 3D imaging and printing technologies into the programming at the RUGM. The benefits of using this type of technology are that it’s relatively low cost, widely available, and easy to use.This presentation will outline the process and highlight some of the final 3D printed products that were developed at the RUGM in collaboration with the Rutgers Makerspace. One such activity uses 3D printed models of a mountainside in the Swiss Alps to teach K-12 students about photogrammetry and its use as a research tool in geoscience. The RUGM is also working on creating 3D printed labels in braille for current museum exhibits, tactile maps, and miniature models of objects on display to be used in tours tailored specifically to visitors who are visually impaired. Based upon the success of this pilot, we are currently also working on a 3D printed version of a “social narrative”. These stories provide step-by-step descriptions and images of what to expect during a visit to the RUGM, and are often used for children with autism, developmental delays, and other social anxieties to help ease their fears about visiting a new place. These examples not only add to the wealth of programming offered at the RUGM, but they also provide avenues to provide better accessibility of natural science content to a wider audience.