Sciencehub’s are interactive “musea” in which youth is engaged in exciting ways with technology. Astron worked with Just Flow to apply a gamified approach to designing a sciencehub around the theme of the search to answers to the mysteries in the universe. In short the goal was summarized as getting the pupils from 11-13 year old to have 60 minutes of hyperfocus on (radio) astronomy topics.
For this project, we started with stakeholder interviews in order to come up with shared expectations and goals. Based on that, a first concept paper was made to create inspiration among the project group around the use of interactive technologies, game elements and overall user journey. In this stage the idea for an escape room experience with three rooms took shape. In a series of subsequent co-creation workshop the detailed concept was created. In the detailed concept we described the storyline, the learning goals, general content, interactive pieces per room, and the type of (emotional) experience of the prospective visitors. The concept was finally translated to a detailed project plan with budget and potential suppliers. While the role of Just Flow formally ended here, we continued to be involved during the actual development and construction in the role of concept manager/project advisor.
“Just Flow carried out a concept study at ASTRON to arrive at the design of an Open Science Hub. This Open Science Hub, “the Big Bang” will be a kind of scientific escape room where young people experience how scientific discoveries are made and what role they play in them. Robin, the lead designer and concept expert of Just Flow, led us in a particularly inspiring way. Central to his approach was the search for an overarching narrative and for the different personas in the story. This caused the participants in the workshops to break away from their own (technical/scientific) approach and to better empathize with the players. Through the Just Flow approach, Robin gradually led us to insights into what we really wanted to convey to visitors with “the Big Bang”, what we wanted them to experience. Robin has not only helped us with a concept design, but also with a new way of looking at our own profile as scientists. We greatly appreciate his enthusiastic and professional approach, which also includes people who were initially skeptical about a “gamified” approach.” – Marco de Vos, ASTRON.