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THE PROJECT We worked with the Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery to create an exhibit on fungi that would be both fun and educational. Our design process included reading up on both museums and fungi, as well as visiting the Habitot Museum in Downtown Berkeley to observe children in an interactive museum environment. Throughout this process, we iterated on our ideas of what the museum exhibit should include and how it should convey the material. Some ideas at this stage included large touch-screen walls and giant foam mushrooms.


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THE GOAL Toward the middle of the semester, we decided to narrow our focus into answering questions, which we called "Learning Objectives." From there we considered the senses we wanted to engage in answering these questions. It was then that we realized we wanted to create an exhibit prototype that brought the outside world into the museum.


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THE RESEARCH At Habitot, we saw children playing in a "grocery store" where they could ring up food for their parents and imitate actions they've seen outside the museum. In our fungi exhibit, we hope to take something familiar to children - being outdoors - and teach them things in that same environment. Once beyond the museum walls, children will be able to point out what they've learned while simply playing outside. On the smallest scale, we hope to spark children's curiosity about the natural world before them.


Alex Greenspan Elizabeth Lin Julia Solano Sydney Mayes


WHAT IS FUNGI? This section teaches the basic biology of fungi. It distinguishes between fungi and mushrooms, explains how fungi are a kingdom of their own, and describes dierent types of fungi including yeasts and molds.


WHERE ARE FUNGI FOUND? This section explains how fungi grow in all sorts of dierent environments and are found both above and below ground. Many are also invisible to the eye. This section will include information about mushrooms commonly found in Santa Cruz.


SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIPS This section explains the role of fungi as mycorrhizae. Fungi wrap around the roots of plants and take up nutrients from the soil which they exchange with the plants in return for sugar. This symbiotic relationship is illustrated in the area where the roots of the tree are visible.


FUNGI IN YOUR LIFE This section covers the wide use of fungi in everyday life. Fungi is used in the production of bread, cheese, and alcohol. Fungi also has medicinal uses. For example, penicillin is derived from fungi and has saved countless lives by ďŹ ghting infections.


STORYTELLING TREE The Storytelling Tree is an area where children can gather and hear informational stories about fungi as well as fungal folklore. Visual and auditory feedback will accompany the stories. For instance, mushroom lights will turn on after the sound of rain.


Thank you, Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery


MUSHROOM LIGHT PROTOTYPE

MUSHROOM LIGHT PROTOTYPE

UC Berkeley Innovation Team - Fungi Exhibit!  

A group from Berkeley Innovation, a student organization at UC Berkeley, developed wonderful ideas for a fungi exhibit in the museum. Our d...

UC Berkeley Innovation Team - Fungi Exhibit!  

A group from Berkeley Innovation, a student organization at UC Berkeley, developed wonderful ideas for a fungi exhibit in the museum. Our d...

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