- Associated Press - Sunday, September 27, 2015

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - Museum officials say exhibits should appeal to young visitors by creating a more interactive experience.

Matt Lautzenheizer, executive director of The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Montana, was one of the speakers present during this year’s Idaho Heritage Conference in Moscow, Idaho, which kicked off on Tuesday, The Lewiston Tribune (https://bit.ly/1R2TiCy ) reported.

The second annual conference attracted more than 200 attendees. The goal is to promote ways to protect Idaho’s heritage for future generations, said Latah County Historical Society Executive Director Dulce Kersting.

The conference included bus tours throughout the Palouse and a walking historical tour of Moscow and the University of Idaho’s campus.

Lautzenheizer says museums can’t just rely on technology as draws for younger visitors. Instead, it’s about finding the right balance between high and low forms of technology.

Marsha Rooney, who spoke on a panel with Lautzenheizer, says she’s found success as a museum curator in Spokane, Washington, by blending a room’s design, mood setting and various forms of technology interactions. She is the exhibit curator for the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane.

In Spokane, Rooney says she added interactive elements in an exhibit about David Douglas, a Scottish botanist and explorer who traveled to the Pacific Northwest several times for the London Botanical Society.

Interactive parts of the exhibit include giving visitors bags with explorer tools and basket-making materials for people to touch. In each room, small details of Douglas’ journey are enhanced with magnifying glasses, low-playing audio and a postcard scrapbook for children to sign - “little special touches like that, that weren’t difficult at all,” she said.

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune, https://www.lmtribune.com


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