Gull Wings Children’s Museum wanted a fun, hands-on exhibit for children of all ages.
At the heart of this design is the foot-deep “dig pit” filled with recycled rubber mulch.
Kids (and grown-ups) excavate simulated bones and try to identify what animal they belong to.
While the youngest visitors are entertained by digging for bones, additional elements were
designed based on the California Content Standards for older kids. A vertical timeline illustrates
how depth relates to age and reinforces the idea that things we put in the ground don’t just disappear.
Another interactive element lets visitors make their own rubbings of several simulated
fossilized life forms.A floor-to-ceiling wrap-around mural gives the impression of being down inside
a real archaeological excavation site.
The entire exhibit was designed, built, and installed free of charge. This included
mural painting, graphics, sculpting, construction, and other specialty fabrication.
Read an article about this exhibit from the Ventura County Star.
Everything in the exhibit was created from scratch including flat cut-outs
painted to appear dimensional. Many elements were designed as realistic crates,
and additional information was presented as hand-written entries on clip boards.
About thirty-six cubic feet of recycled rubber mulch fill the dig pit.
The custom painted mural surrounding the space is about three hundred square feet total.
Durable indoor/outdoor carpeting covers the wheelchair-accessible raised dig platform.
Kids hunt for bones from two different animals, Mammut americanum (AmericanMastodon),
and Smilodon fatalis (Sabre-toothed cat). They compare the bones to images in the Field Guide
at the Research Station, and mark the location on a take-home map.