When I went to the Rochester Science Museum this last weekend I wasn’t expecting much. Perhaps a statue or two of famous scientists, maybe an interactive kiosk of gravity or something. I was going to be sitting down in a chair for a couple of hours and wait for someone to play the game that I helped create. Service to say I was not expecting the sheer number of cool interactive exhibits that I got to actually play around with! There were many kiosks that I ended up playing around with however one that stuck out for me was the pulley system kiosk on the second floor of the museum.
On the second floor I stood there in awe, adventure awaiting before me when I spied something gigantic in the center of the room. It was easy to understand how the kiosk worked as there directions for how to use the kiosk were very simple due to signs being placed at each of the platforms I had to sit upon. A trio of pulley systems where I had to pull myself up using three separate pulley systems. I had to sit on a platform and then use a very long robe to pull myself up a good five feet off the ground. However not all of the three pulley systems were equal and in design and in fact this was on purpose. It was supposed to show how effective a pulley system was when combined with other pulley systems. One of the pulley set ups was just a singular pulley system and a robe which causes you to exert the most in order to pull yourself self up as you sat on a small platform. It was very challenging to pull my entire body weight up utilizing just one pulley. The other two incorporated more pulley systems to help make it easier to pull myself up but only slightly.
After toying around with each of the pulleys my arms were very tired and in hindsight it did provide good physical feedback. Every pull on the robe required a lot of strength and even after successfully managing to make to the top I still had to hold onto the rope to keep myself from plummeting to the ground. Since I was alone I was could not really be competitive with anyone and race to the top. Luckily there were a lot of children who quickly hopped onto the exhibit and began playing around with it. The game-like element of this kiosk was the fact you could race other people to the top. It brought a little smile to my face to see kids blown away by the science of the kiosk just like how I was when I was a child.
If there was a way I could improve the kiosk I would change the color of the exhibit. The exhibit was a deep blue color and didn’t stick out much with the walls and the lighting of the room. I would make the kiosk stand out with brighter colors like green or yellow. If I were to improve the feedback I was add sound effects to the kiosk so that they would sound once you reach the top. If there was anything else I would improve is to add more pulleys to the exhibit and make a sign explain a bit more how pulleys work.