Tiny Town’s Been Hacked

As some of you know, Discovery Center was selected to participate in HCA’s Hack for the Community this year. Hack for the Community is a 36-hour hack-a-thon that benefits area non-profits by using technology to boost community impact. 17 other organizations collaborated with HCA’s team to bring 21 unique projects to life.

Discovery Center’s original idea was to create a textbot that would increase parent engagement in Tiny Town and improve overall visitor experiences. Early on the team encountered a few problems with this plan and pivoted to create a framework for displaying this information through Discovery Center’s website instead. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers can now access this information at www.explorethedc.org/tinytown.

Each exhibit space in Tiny Town is featured, so you can choose from Tennessee Pediatrics, Publix, the Post Office, Home Depot, and the music store. Clicking on each box takes you to a page with 4 primary topics:

  1. Notice: Observe your child and see how they interact with the exhibit and others playing in the same area.
  2. Engage: Encourage them to “dig a little deeper” in each pretend play scenario.
  3. Explore at Home: Extend the learning long past your visit to Discovery Center. Take home valuable tips about encouraging pretend play outside the museum.
  4. Book Connection: Check out these titles that coordinate with each exhibit’s content.

So what does this mean for the rest of the Discovery Center? Using the Hack for the Community Model, we can now start working on plans to extend this information to our other exhibits like the Fire Truck, Air Play, and 5 Senses. Stay tuned as we continue to create new opportunities for all of Discovery Center’s guests to learn and grow with each visit.