Virtual Vivarium Launch @ Reptile Big Saturday Event!

I had a fabulous time this weekend at the Manchester Museum – Reptile Big Saturday event! The day was full of activities from creating a sock lizard to holding a real life Chameleon.  Tom (User Experience Developer) and I (Geodata R & D Officer) were at the event to promote the new Virtual Vivarium app to visitors. We were given a fantastic large screen to project the Virtual Vivarium onto.

Virtual Vivarium in Google Earth

Virtual Vivarium in Google Earth

I had created 60 copies of a Reptile Finder Quiz Sheet which parents and children could work through to discover key facts about the Cone Headed Lizard and Fijian Banded Iguana. Happy to say all the quizzes had been used by the end of the event with many children finding the answers to all the questions and rewarded with a Chameleon Virtual Vivarium sticker!

Virtual Vivarium Sticker

Virtual Vivarium Sticker (many thanks to Jennifer Matthews for printing these out on short notice)

The event had a fantastic atmosphere, I enjoyed the music from La Tinto Bros and was able to look at the tortoises on the Cheshire Chelonia Group stand.

I found that the children really engaged with the Virtual Vivarium and parents were pleased to hear that they could use it at home. Some visitors to the stand said they would suggest the app to be used in local Brownie groups and at schools. For younger children Tom and I helped with the navigation but children around 8 years and above were more confident navigating the app.

Younger children required assistance with the app

Younger children required assistance with navigating the app

A Virtual Vivarium Feedback form was provided for visitors to provide suggestions on how the app could be improved in the future. We got seven responses on the day with many saying after using the app at home they would provide feedback (survey open until 30 June 2014). All respondents found the Virtual Vivarium experience to be either Very Good (71 %) or Good (29%). Ease of use was rated as Very Good (43%) and Good (57%). All seven respondents would use the Virtual Vivarium at home with one of the reasons given as being “great for kids to learn about nature”. Areas for improvement included:

  • Making the app quicker
  • More child friendly
  • Make the areas overlay more

Others felt it was great the way it is currently and couldn’t think of any improvements.

Me with daughter and mother after helping them to do the reptile finder quiz

Me with daughter and mother after helping them to do the Reptile Finder Quiz

A great day all round and many thanks to Vicky, Anna and Andrew at Manchester Museum for inviting Tom and I from Mimas to participate at the Reptile Big Saturday event which was a real success with over one thousand people attending this family event.

3 thoughts on “Virtual Vivarium Launch @ Reptile Big Saturday Event!

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