With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), OMSI produced a series of bilingual (English/Spanish) traveling exhibitions that encourage families to explore healthy food choices and fun ways to stay active. Three versions (1,500 sq. ft, 800 sq. ft., and 500 sq. ft.) of Eat Well, Play Well are currently on national tour. The exhibits were developed in partnership with OMSI’s Small Museum Research Collaborative (SMRC), five geographically and thematically diverse small science and children’s museums.
Create bilingual exhibits and programs that work for the diversity of venues that host small exhibitions. Design engaging, family friendly exhibits that are easy to install and maintain in small spaces with limited resources. Encourage families to learn together and practice healthy decision-making.
To launch the project, OMSI hosted a planning workshop with participants from over a dozen small museums. Building on this work, OMSI and the five SMRC partner museums collaborated on each step of exhibit development, including planning, prototyping, design, production and evaluation. The exhibits traveled to each SMRC site for remedial evaluation that informed the final exhibition.
To connect with Latino audiences, Spanish and English were co-developed by native speakers, not simply translated afterwards. Exhibit language, food, activities and images were chosen to appeal to both Latino and non-Latino audiences. The project evaluation was conducted in both languages by evaluators who are native speakers.
The exhibits proved so popular and versatile that they were adapted for other projects. A series of 15 smaller table top exhibits based on Eat Well, Play Well were created for the Oregon Health & Science University’s outreach program at schools and health fairs and for OMSI’s outreach department. Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon also awarded funding to create a 1,500 sq. ft. permanent exhibition for OMSI’s Life Hall.